There is a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit blowing in the Kansas City metro area. More and more pastors andchurch mission leaders from different churches are devoting serious chunks of time listening to each other, learning from each other, becoming friends with each other, and even serving alongside each other.
What will it take for the big "C" Church of Kansas City operate in unity for the purpose of mission? Let's not overlook the obvious--it will take pastors and church leaders sacrificing some of their time that would've normally been spent on their own church duties. Oh, you could probably brainstorm a long list of things that will be required for this citywide missional unity to occur, but why not go right for the proverbial jugular right from the start?
Time--the precious resource that vanishes so quickly. Let's say each pastor and church mission leader works an average of 50 hours per week. (That's probably a serious underestimation.) Imagine what could and would happen if each one would spend a tithe of this time on citywide learning, connecting, and collaborating. A tithe means one-tenth. You can easily do the math. Ten percent of 50 is five. So...we're talking five hours a week. That's about 20 hours per month. (For those of you who are not paid to work full-time for the church, just base it on 10% of the total number of hours you serve in the context of your church each week and month.)
At first, this may sound unreasonable, but think about it...for the sake of God working through the Church of KC to reach our city and beyond--even to the ends of the earth. Imagine a thousand pastors and church mission leaders achieving this goal. That would be 20,000 collective hours per month spent on building unity in the church of KC for the purpose of local and global mission. The result, no question, would be astounding.
We would likely witness one of the most dramatic advances of God's kingdom we've ever seen in our context. In addition, I believe cities (maybe even nations?) around our globe would be profoundly impacted with the message and love of Jesus.
How do we get there? It's just like someone who isn't currently giving any money to God and His work. They may not be able to start at 10%, maybe they start with 2%, and then after a while they get to 5%, but all the while their goal is to get to at least the 10% level.
Someone might wonder...would there really be enough supply of work to do for this type of citywide missional unity building, that it would demand that pastors and church mission leaders spend about five hours a week to get it done?
Well, the answer is a giant YES, there would be not only enough, but always more work needing to be done than time would allow. Just ponder the vision of a city of 2,000 churches..not only with a "sitting around the campfire singing Kum-Ba-Yah" type of unity...but also with an "action-oriented, Kingdom-advancing" type of unity.
This requires a lot of learning...a lot of seeking to understand. That's work...especially for pastors and church mission leaders who are leading the charge for their own congregation. There is so much each of us needs to learn...and the gateway for that is listening. If each of us spent a couple hours per week on listening to other pastors and church mission leaders, related to citywide missional unity, that alone would bring about phenomenal developments in the Church of KC.
The second thing to emphasize here is that these five hours a week will partly be spent on relationship building--coffees, breakfasts, lunches, praying together, praying for each other. Much of this doesn't require homework--it just requires showing up. The community and friendship aspect of this movement is one of its most vital elements. No friendship + no trust = no collaboration.
Those leaders with apostolic gifting will naturally begin to speak into possible structures for how to go about the work. Shepherds will care for those along the way in the midst of this advance. Prophets will help us see the needs and know the applicable truth to meet those needs. Evangelists will bring people into the Kingdom as it advances in this way, and those with teaching gifts will educate the leaders of this movement as it's taking place. There is a place for everyone to be involved with this huge and unprecedented wave of unified mission.
So who will go first? Who will boldly proclaim it, and better yet, live it out? Five hours per week toward the big "C" Church of KC. There is no formula, or particular organization to which you must attach your five hours each week. The Holy Spirit will lead and guide you. The point of this open challenge is to help us all imagine the possibilities. You will have to decide which of your tasks and responsibilities will get the ax in order for you to have these five precious weekly hours to dedicate toward building unity in the Church of KC for the purpose of mission.
Will you take this challenge? Please let me know if you do. I know some of you are already living this reality, and some of you are giving even more than 20 hours per month to it. Thank you for being trailblazers and apostolic servants for God's Kingdom in KC and beyond. If you're not currently giving five hours a week toward these types of efforts...please take this seriously...pray about it...and make a decision.
Let's tithe our time to the big "C" Church of KC.
As I mentioned above, many KC-area pastors and church leaders are already blazing the trail in this effort, and are already tithing their time to citywide unity for the purpose of mission. Gary Kendall, lead pastor of Indian Creek Community Church in Olathe, Kansas, is one example. Please take the time to go to the following link and read a blog article he recently posted, called "What Will It Take?" He helps us understand not only the current-day scenario that is developing, but how different things are now, compared to 2 or 3 decades ago.
Please don't hesitate to comment on this article. I'd love to know how you feel about this open letter of challenge.
Posted on Fri, October 28, 2011
by Eric Rochester