Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Look Back at a Decade: PART TWO

Last Blog: People Impact

What God Has Produced in Us

Our mission is to Connect People to Jesus Resulting in God-Honoring Life Change. This statement implies that we will be proactive about reaching the lost, which was what my last blog was about. However, this mission of ours also implies that God will produce a work in us. When I look back at the recent decade, three things come to mind that I believe are strong community characteristics:
  1. Generosity: The people of Jubilee Church have invested $3.55 million into the Kingdom in the past ten years. I find that to be an outstanding number for a few reasons. A) We are not a large group. We were only 66 when the decade began and 137 five years later. It wasn't until 2007 that we started to break through the 200 number and it wasn't until this year that we starting breaking through 300. B) We're a young group. The average age of adults is 27. This tells me that people are giving not out of their surplus, but out of sacrifice. God loves a cheerful giver an blesses those who seek first the kingdom. I'm proud to lead such a generous group.
  2. Flexibility: Do you know that Jubilee Church has met in 11 different locations in the past 10 years? I couldn't believe it either. It takes a lot of flexibility for a group of people to make that many major changes. Not to mention all the set up and tear down of our rental locations. Church growth experts say that you will lose 10% of your congregation in making a location move. If that would have been true for us, we would have zero people. However, we have not moved from place to place due to our wisdom, but because of God's direction. We have been a people that have paid close attention to God's prophetic direction. Words like "I'm moving you out of the shade and into the light" that we received in 2003 got us thinking beyond 700 Tuxedo Boulevard. God also said that we would be like a lunar module bouncing around on the moon (and we bounced around for a few years), but then we would settle into a place and where there was once not life, life would emerge. I always thought that had spiritual implications only, but who would have thought it meant taking a mortuary and turning into a celebration center for the glory of Jesus and the benefit of the city?
  3. Love for one another: We have been through a lot together in these past years. We have mourned together and we have rejoiced together. I am grateful for both because I believe it has produced a genuine love one for another. I don't just have friends at Jubilee...I have brothers and sisters as well as fathers and mothers. I love that we are not just about doing church but being the Church. I love that we do life together. That we know each other, care for one another, serve one another, and give to one another as there is need. I'm grateful too that it's not an inward love, but a love that is inclusive of new brothers and sisters. No group is immune to the temptation to form cliques, so it is a battle we'll need to continue to fight...but I'm proud of what I see.
God is so good to work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Let's continue to seek after Jesus and have Him form us and mold us more and more into His image.

Next Blog: Leaders We've Trained