September 1, 2019, Christ Community Church will pray over and send out it’s second church planting launch team. The team has been missionally serving the community and gathering for Bible studies for the last several months. It will host a series of preview Gatherings at Henry County Middle School throughout the fall. Lord-willing, the church will officially launch early spring of 2020.
And honestly, it doesn’t make sense. Let me give you five reasons why.
Most people in Henry County can get to church if they want to. Depending on your definition of “most” this is a true statement. For the record, even if there were a small number who couldn’t it would be worth it. Jesus spoke of leaving the 99 to rescue one. But beyond that, the good news of Jesus comes with an urgent mandate to GO AND SHARE IT! Even that doesn’t make sense in our world today. And yet, the hope of eternal life spent as the bride of Christ (the church) causes us to send out a church planting team anyway.
Our church would be stronger if we kept the leaders we’re sending. It’s true. Our kids area is taking some major losses. We’re losing one couple that has been the grind it out backbone of CCC events for years (Here’s looking at you Imans!) Caleb is multi-talented, and we could use several of them to improve things here at Governor’s Square. Francis Chan once said Christians are like manure. Spread them out and they fertilize. Pile them up and they stink. Not only do the leaders we are sending need to use their gifts, but so too must we keep developing the gifts of all those who are still here. Jesus called that discipleship. Again, in our world, this doesn’t make any sense.
We could do more/better programs if we didn’t give our resources away. There are days I walk into CCC and wish we had carpet squares and nice chairs. I could probably be sold on some better lights too. A few walls here and there to help finish out the flow of the building. And with that touch of professionalism, I am sure that people would flock to something that is excellent. Or maybe not. It’s true. If we didn’t support church plants we could do more here. But it’s Christ’s church that is the hope of the world. Not our church. It would be a lot easier to understand if it was our church. Does this mean we can’t have nice things? Nope. It’s just a reminder that we may be able to fund our mission, but God will always blow our minds in how He funds His mission.
There’s already churches in Henry County. Easily true. And good churches at that! I remind people all the time that most counties in our area are sitting between 80-90% of the population that are not connected to a local church. Henry County is 10% churched. God can do anything, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that our church or any other church in the county is going to struggle to handle the growth that would be required to even reach 50% of the county! The answer to impacting lostness is more healthy churches. The churches already in Henry County have to keep on mission. But we all work together to impact lostness and that requires more church partners in the mission.
We’ll miss the people that we’re sending. OK, ok. This article has a ton of sarcasm, but this point is real and true. The Leonards were some of the first people to catch the vision of church planting several years ago. I don’t want to have Sundays where they aren’t there early serving and staying after to ask questions about the sermon! I don’t want to think about not having Tara connecting with my daughter Tinley or only seeing Mike and Carrie on occasion. This side of heaven, this one really doesn’t make sense. And yet, on the other side, we have the hope of celebrating together with each other and all those whom were invited into the kingdom of God because of their willingness to be sent and go.
Christ Community, keep seeking the city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14). It doesn’t make sense this side of heaven, but we take great joy in knowing that the Lord will show us His glory as we are faithful to his call. Because of that, we unashamedly want you to know, if you come to Christ Community, we hope you leave. We hope the Lord sends you to plant a church here in our area, across the nation, or across the globe. We hope and pray that you will join Jesus outside your comfort zone and outside of what makes sense in this world.
It leaves us with only one question:
—Blake Lawyer, lead pastor