A year and a half ago, I met Bruce and Heather Moore. I had somehow caught wind of their story and was so inspired that we invited them out to California to attend Saddleback’s leadership conference. Bruce had served on staff at two different suburban megachurches, but God had called he and Heather into a new ministry venture leading a dying church. Their new congregation in downtown Tampa had one year to live, and over that year, God worked a miracle through their leadership and began authoring a new story for Christ Fellowship.
Should I give all of my money and possessions away if I really want to follow Jesus? Should I abandon my family and friends? Should I chuck my career to be His disciple full-time? Jesus often put shocking challenges before people as He called them to be His followers. But not all of those challenges are meant to be translated literally and directly into my own context.
In the late spring of 2011, Angie and I spent a lot of time dreaming and talking about what Grace Hills Church would look like. I wrote our conversations out in a form that I later presented at our very first informational meeting about Grace Hills Church on July 17, 2011. Since then, I’ve looked back at what I wrote often. In fact, it’s part of our Membership Matters course.
I just returned from a conference with close to 5,000 attendees, mostly pastors and church planters. The content was incredible and the people who lead it care deeply about the audience. The theme spoke to the soul and the workshops were spot on in terms of practical, helpful advice. In fact, Exponential is probably one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended and I hope to come back.
Church metrics. That’s not a very pretty phrase. In fact, for many, it seems cold. If church becomes a numbers game, then people become “just a number,” and when people are just a number, we’ve failed to emulate the ministry of Jesus. But if we fail to count anybody, we allow people to slip through the cracks and therefore fail to emulate the ministry of Jesus.