Attempting Focal Unity

On Wednesday nights starting in late July, I plan to lead our church is a pursuit of clarity. Based on the book (and process) Church Unique by Will Mancini, I will lead us to discover who God wants FBC to be for Him in Concord and beyond.  I’ve read the book through twice, and ransacked it several more times, and it serves as a great tool for assessment.

As we grapple with the concepts on Wednesday evenings, I won’t expect (or even ask) our church members to read the book. What I will ask is that those present will actually participate. Collaborative in nature, the interaction will allow our folks to “remember when” and dream dreams of “what if we….” The product of this venture will provide a sense of unity: unified understanding, unified language, and unified future.

First, this pursuit will unify our understanding of the context of our church. We’ll examine Concord and Cabarrus County to see the need and potential of our home. We’ll also look at ourselves. We will find out our strengths, our big victories, and, yes, even our weaknesses. We’ll do this to determine who God has formed us to be. Finally, we’ll talk about our passion; what Mancini calls “apostolic esprit.” Some of this rests on who God has formed our leaders to be. These three areas together will show us our “Kingdom Context.”

Second, we will attempt to unify  our language. How do we communicate our identity with ourselves and others? “Words create worlds.” I don’t know who originally said this, but I heard Dave Rhodes – one of Mancini’s colleagues – say it. If we can accurately communicate the who, what, why, and how of our church, we will face endless possibilities. If we fail to speak the same language, we’ll constantly be in the others’ way.

Finally, we will seek to unify our future. If we can see where we are heading and set a few benchmarks along the way, we can make a difference for the sake of the Kingdom. This stage is where we can dream big dreams about the future.

For some of our members, perhaps even you, all of this sounds a little “too worldly” or businesslike for your taste. After all, the church is supposed to be radically different than corporate America. To that, I give a hearty “Amen.” The church is supposed to be transforming the world by making disciples of every people group. (“Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”)

What this Church Unique process does is define how it is that FBC Concord is going to accomplish this task that Jesus has given to us. Instead of corporate America, this pursuit will lead us to embracing the identity that Jesus created us to carry. This course will be a good one to run.

Oh, yeah. All of the above, and it will be fun, too. Come and join us on July 24.
In Him,
Pastor Jim