This coming Sunday, we are taking a HUGE leap of faith in launching a fresh new church FROM SCRATCH! Call us crazy, but we just believe that God wants to impact the Great Lakes Bay Region for His Kingdom and His glory.
The Lord has used these past 12 months piecing together a sold-out, whatever-it-takes Launch Team to help get this rocket off the ground. God topped it off in style this past week when I met a new family in Saginaw who loved Life Church's vision so much, they MOVED HERE from Minnesota!! Yes, Saved People truly Serve People!
They told me that one of the thing's about Life Church that grabbed their hearts was our unique Life Code, a set of seven non-negotiable organizational values that set the DNA and flavor for our church start-up.
"Create a culture by DESIGN,
not default" - Walt Disney
WE ARE UNITED BY ONE VISION
My friend Perry once told me that everybody who walks into your church has their own vision for your church. Leaders are the people who stand up and vividly declare and cheerlead THE vision God has uniquely given for your church!
Think about it: how many times have you been part of a church or ministry that had good intentions, but one day found itself drifting from one program to another in mediocrity? Its because somewhere along the way, the leadership dropped the ball and allowed disunity to creep in with competing visions sucking up all the energy.
At Life Church, we exist so that people far from God will experience new life in Christ.
Or as we say around here, "Reach the Lost at Any Cost!"
Yes, it takes all different flavors of churches to reach all different flavors of people. Our flavor and vision is to do whatever-it-takes to engage people far from God. Andy Stanley once said that the reason people don't go to church is because they have been to one. We want to shatter people's stereotypes of what the church can be by teaching the Bible and making Jesus famous through proven missionary methods in this area of Michigan: leveraging laughs, modern worship, and pirates in our kids' ministry.
If someone doesn't like Life Church's approach, that's ok. We've already trained our Volunteers how to respond to silly critics:
Critic: "I don't like your music/pastor in blue jeans/fill-in-the-blank."
Volunteer: "That's ok, because that's not designed for YOU!"
Listen, no matter what you do at your church, somebody is going to be unhappy and leave. Heck, religious people LEFT JESUS (see John 6:66)!! If they can walk away from the Son of God, they will walk away from your church.
And that's ok.
The challenge for leaders is to decide at the very beginning who you are OK with leaving:
LOST people or ALREADY-FOUND people?
At Life Church, everything we do is about penetrating the culture of someone far from God with the gospel. If someone misunderstands our intentions and refuses to sit down and honestly talk about it and threatens to leave Life Church, that's ok. Because their vision is not THE vision entrusted to us by Christ.
To reach the people no one else is reaching, we will do the things no one else is doing. We will do ANYTHING short of sin to reach people far from God. We will aggressively defend our unity and vision.