Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Big Church/Small Church

Here I am eating my lunch, blogging off the clock...

In reading the comments from the last post, I figured that I would use this one to describe what has been going on with our church in the last couple of months. 

Ashleigh and I moved to NC to be a part of a small church plant in Mooresville, called Race City Church.   Ashleigh was the Worship leader (Band Leader to our drummer, Evan).  I was the youth pastor and filled in for Pastor Keith when he was out or recovering from 4-wheeler crashes.

The church just never got any traction for positive growth.  Maybe it was leadership, maybe it was hard feelings, maybe it was our building.  In any case, Keith decided that something had to change.  As he prayed, he felt that God was prompting him to set aside his personal goals for the church and seek to partner with another ministry in the area.  This made sense because we are about reaching people for Christ.  If we aren't effective with it we should come along side and learn from those who are.

After meeting with several other pastors, Keith got together with the pastor from Mosaic Church in Charlotte, Naeem Fazal.   This was a body that was experiencing explosive growth.  It made sense to both of them that we could partner and become stronger because we all had strengths to help in spreading the gospel.  

On October 14 we merged with Mosaic and closed the doors on the Race City Church building.  It has been very strange being in such a large church.  Race City had like 40 people if everybody showed up.  Mosaic runs 4 services in a local movie theater using video in one theater so we can have more space for people to sit.  I was impressed with the efficiency with which they ran their services.  They have to completely setup and tear down all of the audio and video fro 2 theaters as well as the entrance way.  Oh yeah, the have a big children's ministry that requires almost as much set up as the rest of the church.

After being there a few weeks one thing became clear.  These were people.  Not hyper successful gospel cyborgs.  They had weaknesses and bad days.  They were disorganized at times.  It was refreshing to see that they were human.  It also helped us to see where we could come in and help.  Ashleigh and I are working to become more involved with the worship teams.   We love to teach others how to connect to God and others through worship, training young or inexperienced players what it means to be a part of a team with the focus of leading others to experience the presence of God.  There is a unique opportunity to lead a generation of worshippers here at Mosaic.

I am also finding my place in the youth group.  It is odd being the "old guy".  I played ultimate frisbee with a bunch of guys and I was at least twice the age of all of them.  But all of the leaders have said that they want to use my experience.  I am already leading a middle school guys small group.  There seems to be almost no ego involved here and that is extremely refreshing to me.  I just see a lot of young people who are hungry for God and leaders who are willing to do anything to help them find Him.  

In the end, we can be critical or defensive but the final reason for any of this is the pursuit of God.  I am very excited to be a part of Mosaic and feel that this is right where God wants us to be.  God has really been prompting me on to pursuing leadership with this body.  I am willing to follow where he leads.

By the way I have been reading "What Jesus Demands From The World" by John Piper.  This book is exceptional, Piper's books usually are.  It is challenging to hear again what Jesus said and did here and what our reasonable sacrifice is.

see you all later.


The Lourceys said...

I am glad you blogged about that. I am happy for you guys. I didn't know that you were leading a guys small group, that's cool.

Luke & April said...

I am so excited for you guys and about what God is going to do at Mosaic through you. Can't wait to come and visit so we can go to your new church!

elizabeth said...

So if the Grahams are excited for you guys and the Lourceys are happy... what does that make the Bradleys? Definitely not phlegmatic. :) (I love that you used that word in your last post!)

Thanks for sharing about all that God is doing in your life. Hopefully Shae will figure out sooner or later that this is a "God-thing" and not just Mommy and Daddy's new torture device - playing in a movie theater with strangers every Sunday morning!

Mama said...

God is awesome, so glad for your new adventures! Church planting?? Look at how He is using this Wilson clan!! Like I said, God is awesome! It does a mama's heart good! Love you,

relying on God said...

It's so cool to be able to hear about all that you all are doing and how God is using you!