A word about launching the church
Part of us can’t wait for the day when we “go public” and start worship services. We get excited just thinking about it. Over the course of time, we anticipate that the community that is being formed here will really yearn to worship together – and that’s a good thing. But it is a tempered excitement. Our goal is not to get to a worship service and feel like we’ve arrived or accomplished our mission. Everything we’re about, what we’re doing here, what we’re trying to accomplish is not about getting to worship on Sunday mornings. That’s important and that will be a big part of what we’re about, but that’s not the end. That’s just a means to the end. Our goal is to reach Philadelphia with the Gospel, and to see people and our city transformed. And so a service is just a vehicle to get us there.
So we will spend a season together – of growing in gospel, mission, and community. We’re going to spend a season getting on the same page in terms of vision, and talking about our values, and putting flesh to those values. We’re going to spend a season really embedding the DNA of this church.
Further, there will be several milestones we want to hit before we get to “Launch.” Some will be practical things like – do we have enough people, enough momentum, enough servants who can serve the Church in different ways, enough money, a space to worship, etc. But we also have bigger picture milestones. For example, have we as a group established relationships, cultivated relationships, formed friendships with 75 to 100 people in our city who don’t know Jesus? Are we in the lives of people in Philadelphia in meaningful ways? We don’t want to launch the church only to turn inwards and go into maintenance mode, but rather want to ensure that we are starting missionally.
Our thinking is we don’t want to delay in such a way that we lose momentum or lose the ripeness of the moment. But nor do we want to rush there in such a way that we’re a little immature, aren’t ready to pull it off, and our viability is short-lived.
So we’ll get there when God wants us to get there.