To all my friends out there determined to change the world in 2013. May God bless you and keep you strong.
I spent a few hours over Christmas with Matt Robinson, church planter in Fisher’s, Indiana. Matt is a rare breed. Armed with a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership, Matt took a job reading gas meters in the Indy area so he could plant a church where there weren’t any…at least any like the one he envisioned; a church for the un-churched. They call it “Second Chance Church.” Their motto is simple; “At Second Chance Church we risk everything to reach everyone.” Their goal is “to see people disconnected from God filled with new life in Christ.”
Answering the call meant leaving a secure, full time ministry position. It meant trying to sell a house in Illinois in the middle of one of the most difficult housing markets in decades and trying to find an affordable place to move his wife and two children while he did. It meant raising money and hearing promises, some of which would be broken. It meant spending more time on his knees than he ever had before. This is faith growing up.
Keep in mind, it didn’t just mean this for Matt and his family it meant it for six other families also.
“A hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head winds right for royal sails.” (Emerson)
Still, Matt has seen enough of God’s grace on this side of his decision, to never be able to return to the safe side. For Matt and the people of Second Chance Church, church can never be the same.
When he speaks of the future, his face lights up. When he tells story after story of God’s provision, his eyes glisten with grace. When he speaks of the people who have followed him and those who are joining the ranks every week, he wipes away tears. This bunch walks by faith, not by sight. However, the sights you get to see when you’re led by faith are pretty special.
Twenty four months ago six families followed his lead and began to work toward launching a new church. In September of 2012 they officially began. Weekly the number of lives touched by Second Chance Church increases. A couple Sundays before Christmas they had their first baptismal service. Five people celebrated stepping across the line by stepping into the water.
It’s on, baby.
So, here’s to the game changers out there. Don’t give up. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep taking chances in the Name of Jesus. And for the rest of us, what’s it gonna be? Are we ready to “risk everything to reach everyone?” If not, go ahead and get comfortable in the Christian hot tub of irrelevancy. This year will be a lot like the last.
But if so, we need to get off up off our proverbial...no, wait, literal butts, get down on our knees, and then stand to our feet determined to do something for Christ in 2013. I have no idea what that looks like in your world, but it looks like something. Do it. Volunteer, serve, move, answer the call, give, lead, follow or get out of the way.
The challenge for leaders is clear; “go and make disciples.” The challenge for believers is to look for a leader like Matt and follow them. The challenge for churches is to “risk everything to reach everyone.”
Take a moment and check out Second Chance Church at www.secondcc.com. Send them a note of encouragement or better yet, invest in the Kingdom by investing in Second Chance Church.
You’ll be glad you did.
Happy New Year!