Ephesians 4:1-6: Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Last weekend we had some friends visiting from Hamilton. We had a great time, part of which was spent in Holly Springs at Hollyfest. Hollyfest is an annual free event geared mainly for parents with small children. It had an impressive free line-up: live music, multiple inflatable jumping contraptions, a rock climbing tower, and I even witnessed my first ever pig racing event. I was fortunate enough to catch the final race. Three piglets run in a circle and gallup to the prize at the end of the race. It was pretty cool.
The one surprising thing we found at Hollyfest was three church plants. All three had booths with free give aways, and (this was the most compelling part) people. Two of these church plants will be beginning the same Sunday in January. The other one is currently meeting already in a small venue downtown Holly Springs. So as I’m walking around Hollyfest, my mind reacts. My first reaction was, “There’s competition!” Another reaction was, “How will our new church plant fit into this new community?”
As you can see, my reactions weren’t entirely holy. Pride and self-preservation kicks in pretty quickly. However, another thought overpowered others as I continued to walk around: How can I connect with these churches in ways that will mutually benefit one another? Obviously, our church plant is further behind in the journey, which means that there is an incredible amount I can learn from these new upstarts. There’s also the matter of calling. If God has called us to southwest Wake County to plant a church, then gut reactions like fear and pride are the wrong ones. It’s not about competition, it’s about Kingdom. The eye can not say to the ear, “I don’t need you.” We will need one another, especially if all these new churches are to survive. Statistically speaking, the odds are against us. However, planting a church in this community with an attitude of togetherness, unity, community, Kingdom, collaboration, partnership, and Spirit-led calling is the only way any of these new churches will take root and thrive. Finally, the reality is even if all these new churches became a thousand members in the next year, there are still plenty of unchurched folks around. Hopefully more church plants will be coming our way!
Matthew 9:37: Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”