Morning Reflections – Titus 3:14

This has been a very challenging week for me on a personal level.
Without going into a lot of detail part of my experience in planting
this new church has been waves of what I can only describe as attacks
on my confidence, my creativity, my self-worth… While worship
attendance is not our only measure of success, it has been difficult in
the last weeks watching our attendance fluctuate drastically from week
to week. I find myself praying each week that this will be the week
that our guests will latch on to the gospel and to the vision of this
church and that they will be ready to go all in with us in living it
out, but that hasn't been the case. We are growing, and people are
coming back but it has been a slow process. This week it feels as if
the enemy has been using this slow growth to put me in slow motion…
to fuel the doubt that always seems to linger close to vision.

As I read Titus (I read the whole thing this morning… it's 3 very
short chapters) this came to mind. It is a quote from A. Scott Matheson
from 1893. He says, "The question is not a non-churchgoing community
but a non-going church." There is always pressure in church
planting/leadership to have steady numerical growth, and I think
numerical growth is important. In fact, I get angry when people make
excuses for not trying to grow. As this church… as any church we have
to figure out ways to engage and involve more people in what we are
about… because what we are about is Jesus, and Jesus is the hope of
the world. But how do we grow? Do we attract a crowd by doing
everything bigger and better? Maybe. That seems to work in a lot of
settings, but quite frankly we don't have the kind of resources
necessary to do the biggest and the best. So how do we grow using the
resources we do have? How do we grow with the amazing people of God who
make up the core of this church?

Throughout Titus the writer implores the community to live
authentically… to behave in a manner that is above reproach so not
hinder the telling of the good news about Jesus, but also in such a way
that actually tells the good news to others. 3:14 says, "Our people
must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to
provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives." Doing good
is not just to open the door for proclamation, doing good is part of
proclamation itself. Going back to the quote form Matheson, I'm not
trying to avoid the "numerical growth" question. We have some
significant work to do in that area, but my conviction is that with the
people that have gathered so far as Graceway Church (who I love deeply
and who truly are amazing!), as their leader I need to be about the
business of building them up and sending them out. Helping them GROW so
they might more effectively GO.

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