9.12.2005

a few grand opening observations

After a few hours at Twiggs, I'm feeling a bit reflective. Besides being rich in antioxidants, coffee can also move a person to moments of inspiration. Indulge me as I share a few thoughts regarding LifePoint's grand opening.

Diversity. One of the things I've been praying for in regards to our new church community is for it to reflect the diversity that exists in San Diego. I believe an apostolic church will be a diverse church. Perhaps the most diverse church that ever existed was the first one in Acts 2. In that text we're told that the Holy Spirit enabled the earliest Christ-followers to speak in multiple languages. Why? Because they were speaking to a diverse crowd.

Among our 112 people yesterday we had black and white, Hispanic, Asian, Filipino, and more! We had a healthy mix of ages and generations. We were geographically diverse as well. We had folks from Carlsbad to Chula Vista, from Pacific Beach to Lakeside. We even had a 35-year-old white guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops.

It's a shame that more churches are not intentionally seeking diversity. There's a prevalent church growth principle known as the "homogenous" principle. The idea is simple and it works: like attracts like. The idea is to segment the market and do what appeals to that one segment. It's basic marketing.

While it's good marketing, it may not be the best theology. If we're not careful, we will create a community that only reinforces our own prejudices and preferences. And we will miss out on the creativity of God himself.

Team spirit. I'm continually impressed with the power of teams to accomplish big dreams. We began LifePoint with seven adults and God has continued to bring alongside us key resources (i.e., people!). This church community is just that -- a community. It's not about Ken or any one person. First and foremost, it's about God and what he wants to accomplish through us.

LifePoint has a special group of people who are continually asking me, "What can I do to help?" I'm convinced that each of us wants to feel like we're a part of something larger than ourselves. And we want to feel like we're making a difference. And we are!

Risk. One of the things I was asked prior to starting LifePoint was "What if it fails?" Besides the obvious encouragement such a question inspires, it did cause me to come up with an answer. Perhaps only people who have a sense of calling will appreciate my answer. I answered, "To me, the greatest failure would be not trying at all."

I felt (and still do) that it would be more dangerous to not venture out than to venture out and fail. To stay the same invites stagnation. The Jesus I read about did not mind taking risks. He welcomed situations that required a stretch from the status quo.

In some places, the church has become too safety conscious. We fail to act boldy because we live by the old addage, "It's better to be safe than sorry." What that usually means is that we live by sight and not by faith. We live within self-imposed constraints that do not reflect a faith in an omnipotent God who wants us to succeed.

We value risk at LifePoint. I know that sounds like an odd thing for a pastor to say. But I can promise you this: it won't be the last odd thing I say :-)

2 comments:

Mercedian said...

Ken, I really admire what you are doing, and I read with eagerness each installment of the LifePoint project. I agree with you about risk and diversity. Both invite God into the mix and require his power and love.

Since I am in the middle of planting a church here in Merced, I derive great encouragement from you and anticipation for what surprises God has in store for us.

Blessings,

Bruce Logue

Jim Tudor said...

Ken,

Great news about "Opening Day"! All of us back in Georgia continue to pray for the successful continuation of the vision that has produced LifePoint.