If you could start over?

Just a quick question. If you could start fresh and wanted to create a organization or a community to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in a region, what would it look like? A local church? A house church? Something completely different? I am just wondering.

9 thoughts on “If you could start over?”

  1. An arts/business incubator similar to what Andrew Jones is doing in Orkney consisting of but not limited to: An event space to host intimate concerts and art shows. A coffee/chai bar with listening/reading spaces. A space with networked mini-Macs for a creative arts collective for teens and young adults. A screen printing shop for posters and t-shirts.
    All of it designed to teach both business and creative practices to give young people and young adults in our area a creative outlet as well as an opportunity to learn a marketable skill or craft. It’s a big dream, but God wants us to dream big, doesn’t He?

  2. I always thought it’d be great to start an organization to make a difference. But I’m finding it’s easier and often more effective to just make the difference yourself.

    My biggest regret is the time I’ve wasted. I need to get off the couch and be more proactive in my encounters rather than a wait and see attitude.

    I’ve found church to be a great place for fellowship but lousy at ministry (if that makes sense).

  3. I’ve been dreaming of an ecumencial bi-weekly or weekly mixed-format worship gathering — neutral ground for Christians and experience-lovin’ Gentiles to come and get wrapped in the world of God. It would only work if the art was created by serious and talented artisans, firing on all cylinders, and single-mindedly focused on immersive worship (that is, awe and wonder vs. self-conscious wanking). The mixed-format would keep it interested — music and theater one week, seminar format the next, concert the next. Attach that to a decompression time afterward like a coffeehouse or bowling, and you’d have a serious community scene going on. The monster would be planning, coordinating and money, of course. But maybe those things are somewhere to be had…

  4. I agree with Jeff above — especially if it is focused on youth at risk, homeless people, addicts, etc. The gang intervention group Barrios Unidos is doing something very similar to what Jeff describes in Santa Cruz, Calif., though not Christian based. Rudy Carrasco’s Harambee Center in Pasadena is another Christian based example. I’m beginning to think starting a church will basically only reach those who are like us already. If you really want to have an impact on an area, then I think you need to start on the ground level with those in the most need and put worship at the heart of it.

  5. I feel like I was given that chance with theStory, so in part it would look like theStory, but I’m starting to realize that I just can’t start where I want to be, because theStory is way different than what I invision, it’s more something that I’m heading towards, and I doubt I’ll ever get there.

    I’ll probably have the chance again when I plant again in the same city, but I doubt it will ever feel just right. I do however think we are heading in the right direction.

  6. If I was starting something right now the focus would have to be on community. If people (poor/sick/old/hurt/lonely/normal?) can not be cared for effectively it seems less worth doing. My wife and I will get a bit of a chance, moving to a new town with new jobs – a fresh start. What were the traits that made the first century church excited about being a servant of Christ. Sure we can build big models of how to do ministry and bring in all the cool stuff that is attractive – but at the end of the day, I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I might have to come up with some more plans if it grows – but so far the plans have always come first and then we figure out how to get people to come.

  7. I would try to convert a low-rise apartment building into condos, apartments, emergency suites, with the main floor converted into a larger, open community space which could be used for shared community, worship, etc. At least one suit would be for emergency & refugee families, one small apt. international students. Just dreaming…

  8. We’re doing that planning/brainstorming here in St. Stephen. I think around here we need it to have a housing component. It’s the only way to meet our communities greatest need – and if we build it correctly our deepest desire, healthier community will hopefully follow.

    My eyes just landed on Jamie’s comment above, and it’s very similar to what we’re thinking about, but on a small town scale.

    Helping people move incrementally toward health and wholeness needs to happen naturally, but intentionally. I think that the only way this can happen is to have healthy families living in community with those who don’t. It’s terrifying, especially with children, but I can’t see another way to keep it from becoming an institution, which is diametrically opposed to what we dream about.

  9. i’m quite sure why, if you were wishing to “create a organization or a community to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in a region” why you would consider planting a church at all anymore…

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