It's in my DNA
Updated: Sep 24, 2018
A couple of weeks ago, I had a panicked moment when I asked myself (again) "Why on earth am I going to exchange a whole lot of things that I love and I'm comfortable with (GCC, a great job, the area I grew up in, friends, family) for a congregation that does not exist yet, an area I have never lived in, a place where I know only a few people, and a place so far from my brother and sisters?"
As I considered my upbringing, I realized it's in my DNA. I can't not do this.
1. It's my family legacy. The entire reason that I am in Virginia is because my dad moved our family up to Virginia to support a church plant. In fact, until a move that they recently made, every geographical move that they made was to support the work of a specific church plant. Part of me suspects that they'll stumble into a church plant where they are now. Everything about my upbringing screams church plant.
2. I've been raised in a ministry called Every Nation, whose stated purpose is "To honor God by establishing Christ-Centered, Spirit-Empowered, Socially Responsible churches and campus ministries in Every Nation." ...and it's not just a clever moniker, we're really doing it.
3. I've grown up in a church that plants churches, and from a young age I've watched my mentors and pastors launch and lead church plants all over the United States. Here's a quick fly through of the churches that have been launched from GCC in my time there: Pastor Donnell Jones kicked things of with Grace Covenant Church in Washington, DC. After 9-11, we traveled monthly to New York City to support a church plant in Times Square, and many of my friends helped with a church in Philadelphia just a few years later. Pastor Tim Johnson and Pastor Keith Tower both planted churches in Orlando Florida. Five years ago, Pastor Victor Godoy started a Spanish speaking congregation of Grace Covenant Church. Four years ago Pastor Dihan Lee planted Renew Church in LA. Then right behind him, Pastor Daryl Morrison planted in Arizona. Pastor Joon Oh joined the Grace Covenant Family only a year ago and has established a Korean Congregation of GCC. Just a few months ago Pastor Paul Harris planted Victory Church in Charlottesville, VA. Last month (as of this writing) Grace Covenant Church celebrated the announcement that Pastors Danell and Shawn Perkins are in the process of planting Rise Community Church in Myrtle Beach, SC.
The Every Nation newsletter summarized this phenomenon by saying that Grace Covenant Church "Can't stop multiplying"... a better description does not exist.
4. Most importantly, I am persuaded that the local church is the most meaningful expression of the Christ to the world. Colorado does not need another church service or church building - but it does need of a fresh expression of the kingdom of Heaven. I'm talking about a body of believers who are sold out to follow Jesus, deeply in love with one another (in the agapē love kind of way that is unconditional, relentless and selfless), and passionate to express the heart of God to the world who does not yet love God back - who also happen to love getting together on Sundays.
The best I can tell, I was born into this. I've had the enormous privilege of growing up in a church planting incubator... it gets me excited (and nervous) for what God may have in store for our kids.