The ways churches are meeting at this point in the pandemic are as diverse as the church itself. I know great churches that haven't met live on Sundays since March of last year. And I know great churches that have been meeting live since July and now don't even require masks or social distance. This is the beauty of God's design and the difference in the communities our churches serve.
I started this series more than a month ago but got sidestracked on topics related to the Covid 19 crisis. The pandemic has only ramped up. But, for a moment, let's refocus on how we help a church measure how well they are multiplying disciples.
Jesus didn't mentor his disciples just to make them better men. His goal was for them to mentor other people who would do the same thing. Paul was super clear on this multiplication model of mentoring in 2 Timothy 2:2.
We who are captivated by the privilege and challenge of this calling are part of a growing movement of churches owning the multiplication vision. Our experience has shown us that consistency and conversations are two powerfully helpful measures of multiplication.
Last week we were at the Exponential Conference in Orlando. It is an exciting gathering of thousands of people devoted to multiplying leaders and planting churches. Our many conversations with men and women enthusiastically pursuing a life of significance through mentoring and multiplication reminded me again of why we started Churchteams.
We had such a great time gathering last week with staff and friends from around the country. It was our first time to do something like this and we learned much that I hope to share with you in the next few blogs. We broke into smaller groups and did work around tables. One of the first questions people interacted over was, "What delights you about Churchteams."
Helping people connect to groups has been a core feature in Churchteams since the beginning. We started using the term Groupfinder for this feature back in 2001. You customize the search options to fit your church and the questions you would ask to help someone find a group. Then categorize the groups accordingly and people looking for groups can find a match themselves. This removes staff from being the bottleneck for connection, but notifies staff when connections are made to keep them in the loop.
My pastor's message this week was on the historical, Biblical perspective of Advent. It grew out of a longing of all creation for the coming of a messiah to bring salvation, hope, and joy to the world. Into this darkness the light of the world came. What if all the lights on our streets were not turned on until Christmas eve? It would communicate something different I think. I love that we celebrate Christmas for weeks with such festive shopping, parties and other environments, but wouldn't it be cool if we waited, really waited for Christmas eve to turn on the lights? I think that delayed gratification, that longing would give us a better feel for the coming of the Christ Child.
Last week's blog verse was based on the gospel of Matthew. Mark doesn't do anything with the birth of Jesus. Mark's advent of Jesus though is more like this.
One of the reasons I love technology is that everything about it is designed for life application. If I were going to write the story of the coming Christ with my technology hat on, it might look like this.