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Church Planting Update: And Now Outreach

Posted by thethousandmarch on February 4, 2011 at 9:48 PM

So we’ve been doing our thing, Mercy Community, for almost a year and some good stuff is going on. But, to be quiet honest I’ve been a bit disappointed. Now much of that may be our own fault. We may have jumped the gun a little on starting our worship service. Maybe we should have done a little more core group building and so on. But, we decided to just go for it and hoped some people would join us. Not many have, perhaps if we had done more recruiting and got more people involved in the planning stages more people would have joined us to begin with.

Now part of the reason we felt like it was just time to start was that the three of us who where the catalyst for this service felt that we needed it for our own spiritual well being. The second reason for just getting the thing going was the nature of what we wanted to do. The service, which we’ve cobbled together, is based on a liturgical model, something none of us have lead before. So, we needed to shape and practice what we were doing before we went public. Starting the service was a good way to build the core group.

I’m very happy with what we’ve developed. There’s more I’d like to do, but we don’t have the people, or all the necessary skills to pull everything off – like music; so far we mainly sing a cappella. But, overall I think we’ve put together a very good service that would be very meaningful and spiritually nourishing for many people who do, or would find many mainstream evangelical services lacking. I know I do – I just wish Jessi and I had more people who could help us with the work and so much didn’t depend on us. I don’t care if the church grows to be very big. I just want it to be big enough to be sustainable, and not dependent on our presence.

Another thing I’m happy about is that I’ve had a lot of opportunity to practice preparing and delivering sermons. I never really had to do this before. I’ve taught a lot of youth and children and lead adult Bible studies, but preparing for those is very different. Delivering a sermon is very different from teaching a lesson. I may not be the most entertaining or dynamic preacher ever, nobody’s going to hire me to be a megachurch preacher anytime soon, but I think I’m doing a decent job.

My disappointment is in our lack of growth. There are only six of us (seven counting Cosette). Jessi and I expected to get more support from the New Life and Set Free in the way of people helping, but that hasn’t happened. And, after announcing our presence to the world through a sign and flyers, we haven’t had anyone new check us out. Probably most importantly, we’ve been praying for months for God to lead us to people who are in need – I haven’t met anyone and I don’t think anyone else has either. I’ve started to wonder if there’s really a need for what we’re doing; maybe we should do something else. Or, maybe we just need to figure out a better way of how to make our presence known to the people we are trying to reach. But, how long should we keep on trying?

A couple months ago we met a woman, Sandra, who is certainly an evangelist if there ever was one. She’s going to help us, and the other churches which meet in the same building, do some outreach in the community. We’re going to start by knocking on the doors of our neighbors and initiating contact, starting relationships. This is really something I never thought I’d be doing, going door to door. But, it’s not really your old school door-to-door evangelism. I’m excited about it. I’m excited about working with Sandra. I think it’s a good first step to creating relationships with our neighbors. I’ll talk more about this in another post.

Categories: Church Planting, Liturgy