This is my idea of church planting....tending what God is growing and planting seed in places least expected.
A child can water a flower.
A child can plant a seed.
God gives everything else.
Just plant, care and celebrate the glory of God in the beautiful mess. Using the words "church planting" in our local conversations, is something I plan on dropping for a more accurate word...a word, that I have not found yet. I kind of like "Missional Communities" as far as emphasizing mission and community...but I still don't feel like that defines what I sense inwardly. It's not the wording of the work that I see but can't quite formulate. Church planting in an area that already has THE CHURCH is a misnomer. When I read the verse below:
"How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! "Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water. - -Numbers 24:5-9
I see more church activating...than church planting.
"Tents of Jacob" embodies the image of "work" or mission, or a gathering, or ministry. Setting up Tents within Spokane looks and sounds different than planting churches...and its less heady, intimidating or threatening to people or established congregations.
Here's an example: If I had a heart for the "Jail" I wouldn't be talking about planting a church there but starting a work. And even if there were Christians already engaged in jail ministry; I wouldnt think that I couldnt do anything there...because the workers are always few and the harvest is always ready. It's less about us and more about them. "Going" is the motivation not "staying".
If we look at these endeavors as "Missional Communities" or some other less structured phrase, that would allow for a "ministry in a jail, school, college or feeding program...we could free ourselves from the "baggage" and weight connected to the idea of planting churches and be liberated to dream and engage in mission. Lots of people are coloring pictures of Kingdom in this city. Just because someone painted a picture of the Falls...doesn't mean you can't paint the same falls. The tools to create are available to all...paint, draw, write your song, dance your dance, throw your pot, string your words...open our eyes to the glory of God in the beautiful mess.
Jacob's Well people are living in Hillyard and the valley and other parts of Spokane...the church is planted...lets take seeds from her fruit and replant those in all kinds of places...with a conscious and focused vision and mission and a creative abandon that trusts more in God's power, love and saving grace than our limited resources, experience or faithfulness.
Erect a tent.
Plant a garden.
Break open the aloe.
Become a cedar.
Let water flow.
Plant a seed.
That is what I mean by engaging a neighborhood in mission and allowing vision to expand our hearts and eyes to the whole city.