As most of you know, planting and pastoring a new church is not just an idea that sprang into my mind a few months ago. God as been gradually nudging me in this direction for several years. In fact, as I sit here and look back over the years, God has been working a long time to get me to this point.
I’ve spent hours and days and months and, now years, thinking, dreaming, and planning for what is now LifePointe Church. God has planted a vision in my heart and now I’m seeing some of it take shape. The vision is (you’ve seen this before) “Bringing glory to God by making disciples of Jesus Christ who impact their community and the world.” That’s all I want to do. That’s what I live to do. That’s what’s on my mind almost every morning when I get up.
I want to bring glory to God. I want Him to be magnified. I want Him to be seen to the point that nothing else gets in view. I want the God who knew me before I even came into this world to be known. I want the God who came as a man, in the person of Jesus, born in a 1st century barn, to be introduced to every single person. I want my Savior, the One who gave His life so I can have life, to be lifted up for all to see and come to. I want my Lord, who is alive, right now, December 19, 2007, almost 2000 years since His crucifixion, alive, never to die again, I want Him to break into the lives of every single person in Amory, Monroe Co., Mississippi, the USA, and the world.
I want to see an army of disciples of Jesus Christ spring up in LifePointe Church. I want to see them so on fire for their Lord and
Savior that they’re unstoppable. I want to see this army move out into the dark where the whole world lives. I want this army to take light to the darkest places in our community and in our world. I want this army of The Light to bring about such change that the community and the world will never be the same.
Bottom Line: I want every single person that comes in contact with a member of LifePointe Church to be changed as they see the change in us.
One of my prayers is that everybody God sends LifePointe’s way will understand the vision. If the vision God has given them is different from the one He has given me, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that a church cannot be divided by competing visions. If the visions are incompatible, I would think God wants the other vision done somewhere else, since He’s started LifePointe with this vision.
All of the above is what drives me. It drives me to take my time and put paint on our building’s wall. It drives me to wire up an emergency light, even as I get shocked doing it. It drives me to tell people that we’ve got a new, non-traditional church coming January 6. It drives me to dig for and find the one God has for us to lead worship. It drives me to dig for and find those of you have leadership abilities. It drives me to dig for those of you gifted by God to have a unique ministry that He’s gifted you for.
How do I bring the vision out of my own heart so that you’re heart can understand it? What does this look practically? By sharing my heart!
What are the future and long range plans for LifePointe Church? I’ll try and answer some here for you. You will also think of some that I haven’t answered, so you’re free to ask that question here, OK?
Short Term Plans(in place at Launch Service)
Plans for Launch Service
- That we have a Team of greeters that meet people in the parking lot and the front door, telling them that “We sure are glad you’re here this morning.”
- That we have a Welcome Desk, where some of our members work, registering guests and children, and direct them to the correct places for their children and themselves.
- That we have a nursery and a children’s program all ready to go, with volunteers ready to help, ready to sacrifice their worship time, to minister to those little babies and allow their parents an hour or so to worship God, or even better, allow their parents the time for God to work in their heart and they respond to Him with accepting Him as Lord and Savior.
- That we have a worship team with every member purposely running from the spotlight and pouring out their music, their instruments, and their hearts to God. (Our vision is “Bringing glory to God . . .). A worship team that maybe talented, but they have an even greater awareness that they’re doing what they do to lead themselves and others to worship immensely our God.
- That we have a sound and media team who understands they administer tools that may catch somebody eye, then their heart for Jesus.
- I see LifePointe Church’s lobby full of people sitting around at our cafe tables and chairs, drinking coffee, eating a doughnut, and really excited just to be there with each other.
- I see the lights being turned off to move this happy, blessed mass of people out the door.
Intermediate Plans (First Month to Sixth Month)
- That within the first few months, we establish some type of youth ministry, called The Pointe, with someone who heads this up, working from the same vision as the entire church. “Teenagers bringing glory to God by making disciples of Jesus Christ who impact their communities and the world.
- That we have church members volunteer to head up this youth ministry.
- That at some point, LifePointe will be able to staff a position for Children/Youth ministry.
- That the Youth will have small groups (called LifeGroups) meeting at the building and other places, such as host homes, learning God’s Word, enjoying each other’s company, inviting their friends to be there, and ministering to each other throughout the week, whenever something is needed.
- The we will have special events from time to time to attract other youth to our church.
- That is the first few months our nursery (called LittlePointe) and children’s classes (called KidzPointe) will have enough volunteers from the adults of LifePointe that nobody has to lead these classes for more than once a month.
- That we have to rearrange or combine the two children’s rooms so fit every child in.
- That the adults will see the need to serve so that others will have an opportunity to know the true God.
- That in the first few months we have “LifePointe 101,” a several hour gathering of all people interested in officially becoming a member of LifePointe Church, where they will hear our vision and what it means to be a member of LifePointe Church, a requirement for membership, including those in the core group.
- That many will be saved and baptized.
- That all understand that to be a member of LifePointe Church they must have a personal relationship with Jesus, have been baptized in water, and completed LifePointe 101.
- That at some point after the first six months, we will begin preparing for and launching our Small Group Ministry (known as LifeGroups). That every person who attends LifePointe Church will be a member of one of the LifeGroups. These LifeGroups will be held in homes during the week, using Bible Studies selected by the Pastor and leadership. LifeGroups will be a place where people can enjoy each other’s company, pray for each other, learn from each other, and minister to each other.
- That some adult is led to be our Small Groups Leader, an adult who will help the pastor organize and administer the LifeGroups ministry.
- That LifePointe Church join with other ministries in the community and/or develops our own ministries in the community that will make an impact and a difference.
- That the primary means of evangelism LifePointe Church utilizes is relational evangelism. We share Christ with our friends and we make friends who we share the good news of Jesus Christ. We get them to our Sunday service so that they will have an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- That some adult is led to be our Assimilation Leader, an adult who helps new attendees find a place they can serve within LifePointe Church and our ministries.
- That we will have a continuing series of Servant Evangelism events, where we show people the love of Christ without expecting anything in return.
- That some adult is led to become our Evangelism Leader, an adult who plans, organizes, and administers our Servant Evangelism events.
Long Term Goals (6 months +)
- That several adults will feel led to go to Africa with Rob in the fall of 2008 to minister and evangelize a world that’s not
familiar with our Savior.
- That we will have in place “LifePointe 301”, a way of helping people discover their God-given design, using tools to help.
- That some adult is led to be our Discovery Leader, an adult who helps administer these tools and also helps direct people into a ministry that matches their giftedness.
- That we have “LifePointe 201,” a several hour gathering to help members learn more about how to live a life of spiritual disciplines. These disciplines will include Prayer, Bible Study, and other spiritual disciplines.
- That we have LifePointe 401,” a several hour gathering to help members learn how to evangelize relationally and lead someone into a relationship with Christ if needed.
- That we have enough members that we can ask them to go and start a new church somewhere within a 30 minute drive time, with the full financial backing of LifePointe Church.
This is the vision expanded. This is the direction LifePointe Church is headed. I’ve probably mentioned all of this to you, but probably most in passing and with very little detail. One of my weak points is communication. I have these things in my head but they don’t always come out in an orderly fashion, as you have here. There are probably also things that I’ve inadvertently left out.
One of the by-products of being the church planter/pastor is that the church planter/pastor is responsible for the leadership decisions made for the first year or so of the church’s life. Sometimes a decision just must be made and I’m the the one who has to make that decision. Right now I have assembled an Pastor Advisory Team (Sam, Tim, Van, Teresa) to help me with these decisions, but in the end, they’re mine. Believe me, that’s not a power play but a necessity to guide and protect the churchand its vision. And don’t let that statement upset you, because everyone who’s part of our core group, as far as I know, has fully bought into the vision.
Since one of my weaknesses, is communication, I’ve decided to use the Google Group post and this blog to communicate a little better. This post is open to your questions. You are absolutely free to ask any question you may have about anything I’ve said above. No repercussions, no cold hand shakes, no avoiding you. I feel like I failed at times to clearly articulate where I know God wants us to head, so I want you to ask me anything that might help you see a little more clearly. Please, do this. It will draw us closer in the vision and as a church, LifePointe Church.