It was a most wonderful Sunday ministering to the Bridgetown Church in Portland. John Mark Comer and the crew are doing a truly remarkable job at engaging a very disinterested Pacific North West with the gospel of Jesus. Their ability to live in both the large crowd space as well as the small intimate, missional space, is a testimony of their tenacity to favor neither, over the other.
This Sunday M and I will be prayerfully released from Southlands Church - a community we led for 14 years and have loosely been based out of for the last 4 years. When we were flying over the Atlantic to come and lead her back in 1996, I felt the Lord say to me "It would be very hard to leave... when the time comes". I never knew what that meant until now. For various reasons reasons it has been one of the most difficult things to do.
Then Sunday night we will be set in to Mercy Town church in the Pasadena area of LA. Choosing our language very wisely, we are joining the MT story, as we are added to the elder / pastoral team bringing our gifts and contributions - leadership, vision casting, a global gospel story and teaching.
Jesus said: "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up" Matt 15:13.
I would love to blog you through our journey. This is a remarkable community, planted around 4 years ago. They have some huge muscle groups - like doing life together, a love for the sacred text, worship that fills my life, servant hearted, generosity. But they also lack some key ingredients to be a truly healthy New Testament church.
It is a huge privilege to come into this amazing family and to help "set in order that which is lacking" Tit 1:5. What they have is beautiful. We will add to the story without dispensing with what already exists.
Over the next months I will blog around the story. With Glenridge Church we planted back in the 80's, with a small group of friends. With Southlands Church we replanted, taking an existing but broken church on a journey back to health and multiplication. Now we are so privileged to listen, learn and lead as we help build Mercy Town into a growing, multiplying, mature, beautiful community.
She is planted by the Lord. Of that we are certain. Now the next chapter in the adventure begins.