I’m embarking on a series of posts answering the more common questions I’ve been getting. At first, many of these questions frustrated me. I’ve come to realize the plain reality is that people just don’t understand what Elise and I have set out to do in response to God’s call. Today’s question: “So, how is your church plant doing?”
There are people that seem surprised we haven’t yet produced something that is readily identifiable as an (Anglican) church by bow. I’ve been back in Jacksonville for one month after all! And of course, we announced our adventure more than two and a half months ago. Even if they expected it to take longer than a couple of months, many people seem surprised when I reply, “Great!”
Things are going well for us. We have a core leadership team—a “Great Commission Cell”—of 6 adults and 3 children. We have met on the last 3 Sundays as a leadership team and have had some good conversations in between meetings. Each member of the team is committed to the work, spiritually mature, and has been given gifts that will be of great help as things continue.
We have two primary goals in this phase. First, finding additional leaders and potential leaders. Before we can “launch” as a church, we’d like to triple the size of the leadership community. That would make 3 Great Commission Cells of about 6 people each.
The second goal we’re working on is making sure each leader is discipling at least one more person in the faith. We expect some of those pairs to grow in to full-fledged cell groups, but even two people meeting in the Name of Jesus is a big deal and a powerful vehicle for discipleship.
Only after our leaders and first members have learned the rhythms and processes of discipleship and can reproduce them will we launch publicly with a big to-do. In the meantime we are discerning some of the particulars of God’s call on our group, and we are training leaders to be good Christian leaders of this congregation. There are no shortcuts in leadership development or discipleship, and we expect this phase to last a while.
Thanks be to God for a dedicated and capable leadership team, and for the God who has given us one another!