Church Planting is...church itself is...a gathering of people that from the outside looks random and disconnected.
Church is a group of mismatched, misfit people bound together in unity, struggling together in Jesus toward unity and love.
Church is a group of incompatible people knit together in love through the gospel.
I stood in the tiny chapel sanctuary and looked around me, a bit baffled. This group of ragtag people althogether in one room of worship, seemed so oddly put together. I felt out of place and right at home at the same time. I watched people's faces as they worship and hugged and talked and prayed. It was so odd and yet made so much sense at the same time. It was familiar.
It felt like I had stepped into a different version of my same church home...and I suppose that is exactly what had happened.
The culture, the demographic, the style of service, the location were all so different than our middle-school-turned-sanctuary, and yet it was all so similar.
A collection of misfits worshipping together.
The fragile new-in-the-faith along with the aged in Jesus.
Traditional worshippers mixed with those who never thought church would be a place they fit.
Diversity in ages and cultures and languages acting as though they were all the closest of family.
All with that same hint of desperate need for Jesus and for each other.
All with a love and familiarity overflowing and baffling.
And I look around our little church some Sundays to see so many faces I feircly love, and yet if I step back just half an inch from my own inside perspective it looks so strange, just like the scene inside that little chapel seemed to me that Sunday morning.
Why these people? Why was this love so easy and yet so painful at the same moment? How these bonds so strong? When did this love so loyal form? Who could ever script this combination of lives lived together and call it beautiful?
He builds His church through a million impossible combinations and binds us together through the bond of love. It's His gift to His church if we allow Him to work it in us.
Church planting is misfits and mismatches and odd combinations that work because of Jesus' love in us and through us.
Church planting is a family knit together out of the choice to love who God has given with the power God has enabled.
Church planting is bonds of love that are beyond our own ability to create if we will allow God to create them.
Church planting is living and seeing the ugly and the pain and the hurt in people, then pressing into Jesus because there is nowhere else to turn and in turn watching Him knit you back to Himself and also to each other.
Church is watching God build His church and bond it together with a love that is surprising and cannot be explained any other way than through Him.
Church planting is a surprise of joy and love and family.
And don't forget that for every joy of love and bond of family, there will be equal or greater pain and hurt and sorrow, but it will be worth it. It will be worth it in the moments you get to raise your eyes and see your family, all broken and mismatched and messy, worshiping together and loving each other in a way that can only be explained by pointing to Jesus.
Church planting is watching God build His church and bond it together with a love that is surprising and cannot be explained any other way than through Him.
Church planting is family.