Today was a good day of connecting with people. In the afternoon, I went to ReaLife church for a gathering of church planters, pastors, and missional leaders in Philadelphia. Two guys from a group called Infinity Alliance presented a vision for reaching America by aligning cities where missional churches were partnering with each other for the sake of mission. They made a good point that no single church could present the Gospel to every person within their geographic circle, and to think you could would be either stupid or arrogant. Thus, it would take a partnering, an interdependency of many churches for the sake of Jesus’ mission. The presenter argued that unity for the sake of unity is short-lived and misses the point. The Scriptures call us to unity for the sake of mission.
Overall, I have been stunned by the fellowship between many churches in Philadelphia. In the room were guys from different denominations and different networks gathered for a common purpose – to see that every man, woman, and child in Philadelphia have repeated exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has sure felt like the churches represented in the room have caught a vision not for building their own little kingdoms, but getting swept up together in the building of His big Kingdom. Cool.
I got back home and as I was walking into my apartment, I ran into my neighbors and stood in the hallway for a while talking with them. We live next door to three single guys (and their two friends who are staying with them for the summer). We talked for a while about work, Philadelphia, travel, family, and even about my work as a church planter. We made plans to have dinner at our place this weekend. Excited.
In the evening, we had dinner with a couple that we had recently met. A good friend of theirs whose wife was out of town joined us as well. Shainu and I had a blast hanging out with them. They are all long time Philadelphians who know and love the city. They are doing great ministry at a local Indian church, but have been so excited about the work that God is beginning through 7MR. We shared a meal, laughed a ton, got to know each other, and dreamed about what God could be doing. I asked the couple to consider being a part of our launch team through this Fall and Winter. By this, I wasn’t asking them to leave their church or their ministry, but to consider locking arms with us in helping us to meet people and help us get off the ground with the understanding that they would still be active members of their own church. They were open to the idea and said they would prayerfully consider it. Awesome.
Really thankful to God for this day and prayerful for more opportunities to connect with people.