On a cold, Sunday morning the 5 of us headed to Des Moines Christian School where Summit Creek Church holds their services. Summit Creek is a 5 year old church plant lead by Pastor Jonathan Palmer. Jonathan grew up in Des Moines.
Summit Creek is a church which is on a Mission of helping people Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference. They carry out their purpose every day and twice on Sunday.
We were greeted at the door and when we explained who we were they lead us to the area where volunteers gather on Sunday. The Assistant Pastors wife met us and then we headed to service. They use the gym at Des Moines Christian School for their worship area.
The Service was again all about Mission. Every element was intentional about carrying out their Mission.
Afterwards we talked to Pastor Jonathan who offered us anything we need as we are making decisions to move forward. You can check out the church at www.summitcreek.com. I would also encourage any of you who would like to take a Sunday and go there and experience an ARC church for yourself.
What I have just given you is the summary of the experience at Summit Creek. The big idea is not to copy and paste everything to our church but to see what a church on Mission is like and what ARC is all about.
ARC is not about telling us what to do or forcing us to give money to keep the wheels of the organization spinning. ARC is about planting church and offering existing churches a place to learn, grow, and connect. In fact, this coming Sunday they will have 25 new church plants starting!!
I also think it is important you all understand this is just the first part in a Revitalization in our church. We need a group of churches moving forward to help us do this. Step 1 is what we are doing right now. Moving Credentials, obtaining our own 501c3, a new name, and a new place to join is all part of step one. What is after this? What would be a step two?
Step Two then begins an inside out revitalization. We examine everything according to our mission. We begin to highlight areas we can improve and we improve. If we always do what we have always done we will always get what we have always gotten. Everything needs to be examined!!! Some of these changes will be structural as far as leadership. For example, we know the Paul and other writers in the New Testament are clear about Male Eldership. They don’t just talk culturally but they go back to creation. But this doesn’t mean women do not have a seat at the table. We have to figure out how to do this. We need the right people at the table to help make godly, forward thinking decisions. Status Quo is no longer good enough.
Don’t be scared by this but encouraged by this. We are being revitalized from a place that worked well in the past but doesn’t work now. Christian Union came up with its structures before the Automobile. We can do better. We will do better!
You are here not because we have a certain number of Elders or Trustees. You are not here because Christian Union is on the building. You are not here because there are committee heads. You are here because of Jesus. You are here because you have found a home. You all work on your homes because they need some work from time to time. We need to work on our church and with all of us working together we can accomplish much.
I invite you to pray and dream with me about a church that is not hindered by the way we have always done things and one that is all about the mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Christ.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or text me (515-210-6310) or email me firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you want to sit down over a cup of coffee, I would love to do that as well.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....