I get one of two main responses when I share our vision for Lift Church:
1) A glazed over look and a patronizing or confused smile that says, “Awe, poor thing. She doesn’t get it. That’s nice, but we will see what actually happens.” You can tell our viewpoint is either so foreign to them that they just can’t relate or understand. Or, they really DO think we are crazy; or naive; or short-sighted.
2) An excited face and ‘edge-of-her-seat’ body language that screams, “I want THAT!” Some people hear what we have to say and it’s like a breath of fresh air to them. They get so excited and can’t wait to ask questions and how they can be a part of what we are doing.
It’s not hard to admit that not everyone will see what we see. Sometimes we are just planting a seed. For some folks, they will not grasp “it” until the groundwork has been laid- when we have hundreds of people and and comfy chairs, amazing kids’ programs, coffee, flashy lights and amazing bands. Other people will never be excited about anything related to Jesus! Yet others will come alongside us even in this inaugural season where all we have to show the way is our spearheaded conviction and our word. Seven amazing families have already decided to pioneer alongside us (Praise God)!
I’m reminded of the start of our AdvoCare business in 2000. All we had was a $50 investment and a vision for how the products and company could change our lives. People thought we had gone mad! We lived everyday with negative opinions about network marketing. However, with hard work and God’s favour on us, we continued to share our vision and ONE BY ONE, we built a team. That company has paid us over $1 million.
Here we are again, only this time, the stakes are much higher. We have eternity in mind every time we initiate and instigate. When we preach and promote the cause of the local church, our own avant-garde family’s legacy is tied to this dream. All our chips are on the table and no matter the risk, despite the “no’s” we receive or disappointments along the way, we will lead the way. We are forging a trail so others will have a clear path to find Jesus.
Day after day, we keep pitching our vision and sharing what God has placed in our hearts. The idea of a church that impacts this city and raises up leaders, disciples Christians and molds the next generation isn’t hard for me to see. Partly, because I experienced it firsthand at Celebration Church. Secondly, I know people everywhere are hungry for what we will serve. No one wants his kid to grow up a failure, on drugs or without purpose. Most people just have no idea that the answers they seek can be found in the church.
The Bible says when people lack vision, they are unrestrained. One version says, “they go wild!” Take one look at our Western society and the word “wild” could easily describe our morals, theology, and young people. Even non-believers will agree with this. A hunger is raging for a leader who knows where he is going and whom one can trust and follow. Our desire is that we will continue to press on despite the critics, despite those who don’t see what we see, despite the temptation to settle in and accept the status quo. We are pathfinders blazing a trail and chartering new territory. One by one, we know God will draw people to this vision.
No matter what role each of us fill, as Christians, we are called to advance The Church on the earth. Let us not shy away when the path seems unclear or we get scratched by the underbrush. We can’t turn around or back down when the climb is steep or the weather changes. The mission is too important and the eternal rewards are worth it.
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; Psalm 127:1