Friday, August 17, 2012

Church Plant

When I first decided to join a new church plant in Lake in the Hills, IL, I was beyond excited to see what God was going to do through my family in order to reach people in that area. But when I started talking to people about what I was going to do after college, many people responded with "Do we really need another church in the United States?" My answer, "Yes."

I am aware that there are many churches in the United States, but somehow not everyone is being reached. Therefore, if there is a certain demographic of the population that is not being sought after, it is our job to "go out and make disciples of all nations."  Lake in the Hills is an extremely young area, with a median age of about 30 years old. According to church statistics, only about 30% of people around that age attend church.

Also, there is a new idea of thought that has become prevalent in today's society. Words such as "Coexist" and "Tolerance" appear everywhere. Being exclusive is definitely not trendy. An interesting article was written by Jonathan Parnell regarding this subject. He differentiates the ideologies of Old and New Tolerance. Old Tolerance can be summed up by "accept[ing] the existence of different views." New Tolerance can be summed up by "accept different views." As a Christian, I accept that people have different views than I have. I share my faith, try to do good unto others, and strive to selflessly serve people.

Many people around my age feel that Christianity is too exclusive and that there is no definite right or wrong. And I, too, felt this way for quite a while. All-inclusive was an easy philosophy for me to accept. But New Tolerance is less than tolerant regarding Old Tolerance. Parnell states, "'new tolerance' has a right and wrong, too, it's just that what's wrong is to say there's such a thing as right and wrong."

In the end, people need to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The church needs to keep in mind that loving is God's number one commandment. We are to love God, and we are to love people. This love for people is not based on whether or not they believe the same things as us. Many people do not. But we are Jesus' "witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

America needs more churches.

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