This has been quite an adventure, and we’re just getting started. Having served in established congregations where there’s lots of bells and whistles it’s sometimes easy to fall into the trap and desire to have all the bells and whistles right away too. Children’s ministries, youth programs, small groups, men’s ministries, women’s ministries, on and on and on. In many ways I am glad that we don’t have the bells and whistles and that we don’t just fall into the same easy Christian living that so many of us experience in American Christianity. I believe God is calling us to a deeper, more fulfilling, more expressive life that is simply loving God and loving our neighbors. How that all gets lived out is yet to be figured out. After all we’re just getting started.
But it’s easy to look to methodologies and programs as our silver bullet. It’s easy to think if I just had a great group for my kids to fit in then my kids will turn out alright. If we could just figure out this group thing then we’ll be alright. Life is messy. The church is just as messy, and I think that much more when you’re getting one started. There are no silver bullets.
But it’s in the mess, in the trial and error, and in all of the head scratching that God works best. When we don’t know what to do or when we get things mixed up from time to time, God gently (sometimes abruptly) brings us back to Him. He knows what’s best for us. It’s not programs or projects. It’s Jesus. When we need Him most He gives us Himself.
Sure we have hopes and dreams for what our Gospel Community groups will look like, but above all we want them to pursue Jesus and rest in His work. We want people to remind each other of their identity and acceptance through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We want see each other and ourselves the way that Jesus sees us. If our groups or what becomes our youth programs or our children’s ministries did just that, then I think we’ll be doing alright.
We might not have all the bells and whistles, but we have Jesus. I’m pretty sure that He’ll take care of the rest.