Sunday, May 3, 2009

Origins + Labs Help Make for a Personal Catalyst

A couple Wednesdays ago I was able to get away from the office and head down to Irvine for the first day of the Catalyst Conference (wasn’t able to get to all three days). Actually, it wasn’t the Catalyst Conference yet. It was Origins, put on by Erwin McManus and Catalyst Labs. The labs are smaller seminars on different topics/issues. The day was bookended by Erwin McManus plenary sessions and the three labs were between. I’ll blog some of the content and how God used these to challenge me to step out in faith in an area where I’ve been feeling a tug/push for a while. I think I’ll roll out what I’ve been wrestling with first. Over the next couple days I’ll talk about my Origins + Labs learnings.

The blog usually isn’t this personal, but here goes … since I guess it has public implications. I’ve been intrigued with our church’s vision to plant satellite campuses and have been toying with different ideas as to how that could become a reality. Lately we’ve recognized a need at our church to minister to an area where there are several motels and more financial need than most of our community. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not talking about Skid Row, or anything like that. But there’s an area that we as a church have neglected for some time and I don’t know that any churches are doing anything there.

These two visions/goals started converging lately in my mind (and in the mind of a friend as well). We aren’t at a place as a church – financial or otherwise – to make a commitment to a full-blown satellite. So I’ve announced to our small group, placed a brief announcement in the worship folder, and talked to a couple friends about starting a small group that exists to reach this area of our city. That will be why we exist as a group.

What do I mean? Instead of asking, for example, what study we should go through next that will be beneficial to us, or what kind of social things will be beneficial to us, we should be asking what will it take to reach that community? The goal is to build a small group of missionaries. Our goal will be to build an authentic community that really loves each other, prayer walk the focus community so we can have an idea of the needs, love that community and become a genuine part of it and invite them into our community as well. From there, we hope they become part of our church, eventually. Either way, our goal is to love and minister to that community.

We’ll see how it goes. Pray for us. I’m a bit terrified by this step, but we’ll see how it goes. It starts tonight.

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