NewThing is Partnering with the Explore God Chicago Initiative

I was watching two comedians talk about life. Each of them have achieved success and fame. They have everything. Yet during this discussion they each admitted that nothing ever quite lived up to their expectations. There always seems to be something missing.

I know this feeling personally. It haunted me for years and was part of the catalyst for me to start my search for God.

That’s why I am excited about the Explore God Initiative in 2019. This will be a city-wide effort to help people in Chicago explore 7 BIG questions about life. The genius of the effort is that this will be a community effort. 7 Big Questions. Does life have a purpose? Is there a god? why does God allow pain and suffering? Is Christianity too narrow? Is Jesus really God? Is the Bible reliable? Can I know God personally?

NewThing is a sponsor. After all, we plant churches to help people find their way back to God. I would love to see hundreds of churches in Chicago participate.

Do me a favor and take a moment to learn more about the initiative. Expect to be hearing about it here on occasion.

Let’s do this together…

What NewThing Does to Catalyze Church Planting

I think about this topic quite a bit as you could imagine!

NewThing is a catalyst. We are trying to overcome several challenges that we see in church planting, particularly in the West.

We are NOT trying to be a denomination. We are NOT a typical church planting organization that centralizes money and programs from the center.

We are doing our best to remain MOVEMENTAL in our structures.
These are the BIG THREE for me.

First, NewThing networks churches together so they can plant more churches together. Churches must plant churches. Yet most don’t. Of course church planting is a significant undertaking and many churches lack the resources and people to go it alone. Bringing churches together to so they can plant more churches…together is one of the ways to solve this issue. Networks are a better stewardship of resources.

Second, NewThing provides an accountability mechanism to so that churches plant the churches they say they will plant. Without a local network of relationships hold church leaders accountable to church planting, it’s not going to happen. Our My Reproducing (MRP) Tool is one of the ways we do this.

Third, NewThing brings churches together and aligns them around the Missio Dei (Mission of God) in the spirit of collaboration. Jesus started a movement. Yet, we don’t see movement in the Western context. We are convinced that only when churches come together to plant churches will we see movement and even then it won’t really be a movement. (I’ll explain my thoughts on this this in another post at some point.) Collaboration and partnership need to be catalyzed and fostered.

It’s true – together we are better.

I am still working on these ideas so stay tuned.

One Mission – One Body

I want to remind you (as I remind myself) that there is one body of Christ and that body lives as one in different parts.

We have one mission: to let everyone man, woman and child know they are loved and that there is peace and purpose in Jesus (John 3:16).

Whatever your context, church or ministry- it’s part of the larger, global body of Christ. This is important because so many of us are focused on becoming the best hand or the best foot when in fact we need each other.

Paul reminds us that to be the full expression of the Body of Christ all parts of the body are needed. This means the local church and it means the global church.

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

  • I need my brothers and sisters in India
  • I need my brothers and sisters in Africa.
  • I need my brothers and sisters in Asia.
  • I need my brothers and sisters in urban contexts.
  • I need my brothers and sisters in rural contexts.Etc. Etc.

Sometimes I get really bummed by how territorial the church can be; how we don’t seem to need each other.

I am convinced, the sooner the Church realizes we need each other, the better equipped we will be to achieve the Jesus mission…together.

What are you doing as part of the body?