In planting Restoration City Church, we are deliberately designing a community of faith that allows and encourages each of us to have open space in our lives. We’re architecting a simple church. Our goal is not to fill every available moment with a program, ministry or event. Our goal is to do a few things well and create space for you to love and follow Jesus.
Confession time: Open space doesn’t come easy to me. I love the idea and I know it’s where God is leading us but there are moments when I’m tempted to freak out and throw a bunch of events on a calendar. Last Friday was one of those freak out moments for me. As Dan and I were preparing to meet with our Operation Team (the volunteer leads for each of our ministry areas) we reviewed the church calendar for March – May. As we were moving through the weeks, I felt this tension and panic rising in my heart. It was the panic of “we need to be doing more!!!” After all, we’re a growing church with a vision to reach our city and beyond; we’re aiming too high to allow open space. It’s just part of the messed up way I’m wired. Have a blank space? Fill it! Schedule an outreach. Host a seminar. Attend a conference. Plan a church wide picnic. Enroll the whole church in a 5k race. Who cares….just do something!!
The more I think about it, the more I realize my obsession with activity comes from a lack of trust in the Holy Spirit. It comes from a belief that if we aren’t programming ministry, no one in the church is doing anything to advance the Kingdom. And that’s just flat wrong. In fact, I believe the most significant ministry activity of Restoration City Church happens in the open spaces. Here’s why:
- It’s in the open spaces that we get to meet, enjoy and develop relationships with our neighbors.
- It’s in the open spaces that we have time for a friend in crisis.
- It’s in the open spaces that we get alone with God and allow Him to speak vision into our lives through His Word.
- It’s in the open spaces that we serve through one of our ministry partners.
- It’s in the open spaces that we wrestle with our fears, doubts and dreams.
- It’s in the open spaces that we love people.
- It’s in the open spaces that we engage our world.
So, Restoration City, don’t freak out about open space. In fact, get comfortable with it. We already have the capacity to schedule more as a church but we won’t because I believe deeply in the power of God working in your life. You are light of the world and the carriers of hope for our city. Live your life for the good of others and the glory of Christ. I’m sure the Spirit will show you how to best leverage your open space for His purposes.
Enjoy the open space!