This is a transition that our church has gone through, that I believe all church planters should contemplate. It is something that I see as a common denominator from many of the Acts 29 churches that are making a large impact on their community. Some of those who are extremely gifted in this area are Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill and Rick McKinley at Imago Dei Community. I pray that Kaleo would learn from these but also forge our identity as we consider the following:
To make a Kingdom-impact on your local community and the world-at-large, you must move from Deconstruction to Kingdom Building.
Driscoll and McKinely are just two of the pastors I know that do an amazing job at casting a vision and gathering people to join that vision. I attended Mars Hill for about 5 years and was always impressed by Driscoll’s vision-casting often at the beginning of the service. It was a ‘here is where we are going as a church’ that got people passionate about what Mars Hill was doing. When I think of Driscoll it is the counter-culture message he preaches that contradicts a city that is one of the least church cities in the country. Driscoll has rallied a group around this great cause he champions. Where Driscoll spear-heads this vision at Mars Hill, McKinley does this through servant-leaders. There is a platform for the ministry leaders, other pastors, even author Donald Miller and others to cast the vision and gather groups around ministry, cultural ideas and kindgom-mindness. Both have different methods but both work.
The common denominator is that instead of reacting against, they are building towards something. If you are an emerging church, what is your identity? As I attend ‘postmodern’ or churches that would say they are ’emerging’ they usually can tell me what they are not. We don’t have central leadership, we don’t sing old-school hymns, we don’t have traditional worship, we don’t…[fill in the blank]. In the long run, I don’t think you can rally too many people to this cause and anti-identity.
David Fairchild (preaching elder at Kaleo) and I have been speaking about where Kaleo’s identity is going. Fairchild has been spending considerable time thinking through the implications of the work of NT Wright, Piper, Tim Keller, Francis Schaeffer to name some of the prominent authors. What is a message that combines gospel-redemption, kindgom-living, passionate-God-seeking, worldview-altering realities? There is much to unpack, but this is where Kaleo Church wants to proclaim a message, solidify a vision and gather a people to co-labor toward…