I am convinced that unless we revisit important and key values in any area of life that we tend to drift into the mindless complexity imposed upon us by our culture. If we do not constantly go back to what is our purpose and mission for life and orchestrate our daily decisions around these values, we become enslaved to the “tyranny of the urgent” in daily life. If you don’t have a purpose and schedule life according to that purpose, we will allow everyone and everything else’s purpose to direct us on a daily and weekly basis.
People still ask why I (we) would start a church when there are plenty of churches in this community and all over the United States. The overly simplistic answer to this question is “to fulfill the Great Commission here in our community and all over the world.” What does this mean and how does it play out in planting a local church in a community that has many other churches?
Ed Stetzer, in his book Planting Missional Churches, shares with us some amazing statistics related to the “church-to-population ratio” in the United States.
- In 1900, there were 28 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
- In 1950, there were 17 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
- In 2000, there were 12 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
- In 2004, the latest year available, there are 11 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
You can easily begin to see the need for starting new churches simply by looking at the lack of new churches started to keep up with the explosive population growth! That does not even take into consideration the number of churches that close their doors every week because they have lost the ability to have influence in the lives of people in their community. Churches are dying every week and their needs to be new churches birthed in communities that can reach people with the gospel of Jesus.
NOW, consider that the existing churches in many communities are doing a good job at assimilating those “already convinced” Christians by providing good children’s, youth, and adult programs that keep everyone busy and happy. Many existing churches have either never had any influence or they have lost their ability to influence the people in their community who are “unconvinced”, “disconnected” or “unchurched”. We know that 85% or more of those people in their 20?s and 30?s do not go to church anywhere. The percentage of people that do not go to church increases with each younger age group and generation.
Here is the question? How are we (Jesus Followers) going to reach these younger generations that will not ever step into an existing church that focuses more on the “already convinced”?
We must start new churches that can be “laser focused” on taking Jesus to these younger “unconvinced” “people groups”!
That is why Church at the Grove exists! We started Church at the Grove to reach out to “those least likely to go to church”!
That is why we will not accept doing church for:
- People that are currently unhappy at their church.
- People that simply want more contemporary music.
- People that like wearing jeans and leaving their shirts untucked.
- People that want a new environment for their children.
- People that want “cool” teaching with pastors that build brick walls and throw skittles around.
- People that want to come and sit and do nothing to help us reach disconnected and unconvinced people.
- People that want to shop churches until they can find where they can be fed.
- People that have no intention to serve and get involved.
We will be laser focused on the mission that God gave us in the beginning:
We exist to develop people who follow Jesus and Make Disciples. We want to be intentional in going after those people that are the least likely to go to church. We will create environments where people can explore faith at their own pace. We encourage relationships through community groups and we will BE IN OUR COMMUNITY to start discussions that lead to sharing the hope found in Jesus!
Check out this post from a while back and ask God to create a passion and a compassion in your heart for unconvinced people. Ask God to show you where He wants you to be to maximize your gifts and influence for His Kingdom!
Be thankful for the person, people, and/or the church that influenced YOU toward Jesus and then get out of your “church bubble” and walk across your street, room, neighborhood or community to talk to someone about Jesus!