don’t you work at the other church in town?

actually, there’s more than one (about 500 or so other ones). but i did just came back from an evening at one church in particular here in little rock. i honestly love seeing firsthand how different churches take shape—especially in their services. it’s one of the most energizing things for me. and with tonight being the site launch of one of the fastest growing churches in the region, i was eager to go support them.

plus, Andy Stanley was speaking.

admittedly, i have a little man-crush on the man from atlanta. (i almost choked on my shrimp enchilada the other night when i found out he was speaking live. but i’m cool, promise. he’s just a guy…) so, his point tonight for a group of people launching their new digs: be a church whose heart is broken for people who aren’t here.

here are some notes from his message:

— always be more concerned about who you’re reaching, not who you’re keeping.
— we have more than enough churches in the United States, in the south, and definitely in Little Rock, but not nearly enough with that type of concern.
— church is for the people who are far away from God. Jesus knew this.
—be a church that the un-churched want to attend. people liked hearing Jesus speak. the pharisees had the credentials, but Jesus had the people.
— being here with you may be the closest some people get to Jesus. don’t mess this up.
— people know they’ve got issues. they want to come to something that will help fulfill the meaning they hoped for and give them answers. don’t make that hard for them!
— in Acts, Paul says that the world should hear our message, not just Jerusalem. the 12 disciples said, “great. we’ll stay here in Jerusalem, you take on the world.” maybe that’s why Paul got to write so much of the Bible.
— churches drift toward insider-ness. the first church in Acts was no different (imagine the look on all the men in the church’s ‘new member class’ when they heard that they’d have to be circumcised…).
— Acts 15, they decided “it is my judgment therefore that we should not make it difficult for the gentiles who are turning to God.” why do we not spend more time asking, “how can we make this easier for people to come here?”
— you should have christians in your church who are unwrapping the cellophane off their bibles. they won’t have this figured out already. that’s alright.
— it is the heart of man to take what is easy and accessible, and make it hard. the Church keeps forgetting this and re-learning it.
— the only complaint you should ever make to your church staff is that the church is too difficult/insider-focused. if that’s not your complaint, hang up the phone.
— if all you’re doing is praying for sick people in your prayer meetings, you’ve lost your mission as a church. who is your heart broken for?
— the pre-eminent thing that should define your church—not what’s going on here, but what’s not going on out there.

it was a good night. i have to give major kudos the the crew at New Life Church. they have worked incredibly hard to kick off their new site here in little rock. 6 services, each with a different speaker, big-time creative elements, worship times—all within a span of 4 days (all while hoping that all the buttons, wires, plumbing and various systems work in their new building). way to go after the vision that ignites you, and for your desire to inspire a church full of people to share that same heartbeat. as a guy from the church down the street, i’m excited for our city.

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~ by bradherndon on September 13, 2008.

One Response to “don’t you work at the other church in town?”

  1. […] Apparently Andy Stanley was in town, and nobody told me about it.  Not that I’m bitter.  Maybe a little.  Brad went and posted some great notes from Stanley’s talk at New Life Church. […]

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