I just had the pleasure of meeting a nice young woman (don’t get worried, Mrs. LZ) who moved to the Philadelphia area from Ohio about five years ago. Why did she move? Because her church in Ohio was sponsoring a new church here and asked some members to move to help start the church. About 20-30 members of this church moved from Ohio to suburban Philadelphia to start a church. Six years into the ministry they just bought a building (they had been renting) and are growing from their current 200 members.
Wow. Here’s a church that has a strong sense of mission, is willing to lose some members for the sake of mission, and has members willing to move hundreds of miles away to a new city (to find new jobs, new homes, new friends) to start a new church from scratch. I am dumbfounded, impressed, jeaolous, and inspired. Their theology ain’t mine, and not everything that grows or has passion is good, but I’m willing to bet that this Vineyard Church has something good to offer and teach me about ministry, faith and mission.
Draw your church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our teacher Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving in Christ’s mission to the world, and together witnessing to your love wherever you will send us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Prayer for the mission of the Church, from Evangelical Lutheran Worship