Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos
What if? What if there was a movement among the people in our Christian church pews? Not just any movement, but a movement where lay people were willing to consider, entertain, and act upon a different impulse than is normal in our decision making. What if one of the most fundamental areas of some Christian families’ lives, vocation and place of residence, were decided differently? What if even just a small number chose the location of their home upon the opportunity to become involved in a church plant? Yesterday’s post was about church planters, but dynamic and farther reaching effects could be had if lay people captured a vision for church planting.
Seldom do we hear of a family or individual who decides to accept this job or move to that place because there is a church there that they could serve and assist in. And that is a travesty. We consider everything else. The schools, the parks, the affordability of housing, area recreation, and the weather are all factors that seem to play into our willingness to consider moving to this or that part of the country. And after we have chosen our location due to vocation or interest it is then that we look for a church to join in that new local. But what if the order was reversed? What if individuals and families began to consider moving to a new location so that they could help start or serve in a church plant or young church? What if this was considered by more than just a few individuals and families and actually became a real consideration for lay people scattered throughout our congregations? How many churches could be planted and how many young churches would be given a boost “over the hump?”
Can you see the picture? Retired individuals and couples consider moving to that city because their wisdom, experience, stability, and free time could greatly assist the church plant effort there; Professional individuals with their flexibility and financial resources packing their homes and moving across the state or country to assist in this church plant effort; Young families actually considering where they could serve the church best, over and above what location would provide the greatest place of comfort for their family; Young individuals graduating from college and taking two years to lend their zeal and energy to a church planting effort instead of moving on to graduate school or finding their career path.
What if? If weather, upward mobility, schools, and family can be the draw we need to move across the state or the country then why not the Church? What if the planting of churches was a true consideration for every person in the pew–at least a consideration? It could alter the landscape of the American church, lead tens of thousands to saving faith, result in hundreds if not thousands of new and healthy churches, and it would be good for the spiritual vitality of our existing churches. Am I overshooting? I don’t think so. What if?