By Gavin Duerson
As we begin this new year, I am as convinced as ever that the Lord will continue to grow the network of simple church-minded folks and even grow new networks all around us! To be sure, it’s not about growth for the sake of growth, but about seeing more and more people connected to Jesus and His family! Because I believe that Jesus and His Church is the only real hope of this world, I long for as many people as possible to find Him and the Spirit-filled life that He longs for us all to experience! Be encouraged! If you are a part of a simple church, I believe you are in a unique position within the Body of Christ. Because you have chosen to live with faith outside the traditional church structure, you can uniquely speak into the lives of your friends and family! You are living proof that Jesus cannot be contained by walls, policies, procedures, and systems!
I’m reminded almost daily how many folks’ issues are not with Jesus. As I hear heart-issues, most problems seem to stem from “church” and a specific idea or picture of church that is not really the Church at all. Rather, the problem is with the organizational policies, procedures, programs, and systems that are perceived (with or without good reason) to define what it means to be a part of the Church. In fact, I often wonder how many people believe that joining a local brick and mortar church congregation/organization and becoming a Christian are the same thing? Well, you are uniquely qualified to reach these folks and demonstrate the Christian life in a way that they may not have thought possible! I feel confident in saying that, right now, we all know someone who would be open to following Jesus if they could picture that journey lived out in a simple church family.
So let’s make the most of the opportunity to help people see Jesus and His family in a new way this year! I want to encourage you to unapologetically and lovingly share your story with the disenchanted around you! Even more, share Jesus’s story and invite any and all to join you in your adventure of following Him! As you share your life and faith with others and they see that there are no strings attached to your friendship and love, your light will shine bright void of the fog that has caused so many to turn away from Jesus and His Church.
To be sure, this will only happen if we stay connected to the Vine–keeping our focus on Him, listening to His voice, and obeying the things He speaks to us. For all of us, may this be our main focus trusting that the fruit will come as we hear and receive the His words in our own lives and in our simple church communities!
“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Join us on January 18 as we invite leaders and those interested in learning how they can lead a simple church to come together at First Southern National Bank, 3060 Harrodsburg Road, Lexington, KY from 6-8pm. Dinner provided. Kids welcome. Email us to RSVP or if you have questions.