I've noticed a few things about churches that are Making Disciples and Making a Difference:
- They focus on the mission. They are unique and can name that uniqueness, which connects with a passionate mission.
- They are listening for God. Everyday, every meeting, every gathering, every worship... all the time they are listening for God. They are asking if what they heard is a holy nudge, God's call. They discern (figure out) that together as a community (large groups or small groups) and then act on it.
- They are agile. Change can happen quickly. When they receive a holy nudge, a call, they don't wait, they act. At Calvin Presby, Pastor Standish put it this way, "When someone is called, we say, 'Go for it!' Then our committees, our structure, asks , 'In what ways can we support this call.'"
- They connect. Connections go deep with both God and others. This requires time and flexibility. It may involve creative paths or familiar tools.
- Official and unofficial leadership models all of the above.
- They live on the edge. Each pastor and staff member told stories of exciting ministry and a roller coaster of feeling in just the right spot, then wondering how God will bring everything together (and the later can feel very uncertain). Yet they live in the tension and go for the ride with God, running to keep up with the holy, when necessary.
It's also true that no two of these churches, so far, looked the same. Hot Metal Bridge on the South Side of Pittburgh has meets pretty obvious needs on their doorstep. Calvin Pres. in the small bedroom community of Zelienople PA meets many needs, they can be less visible, and equally important.
What are you noticing about how God moves and works? Where do you see God's people both Making Disciples of Jesus and Making a Difference for God in their neighborhood and world?