At our annual meeting on April 27th, I presented 5 questions that I believe The Grove’s response to will determine the level of influence we have for Jesus in our city and in our world.
Question 1: Will we be a major player in world missions?
The Grove has been built with a culture of being grassroots, underdogs, unstructured and free-wheeling. It’s awesome. To be that way required a ton of organization and intentionality for our leaders – and it worked awesome. God has given us opportunities and influence that went beyond our expectations. We have been able to contribute to the redemption of our city and our world!
When The Grove started up, we committed to being involved with world missions from day one. Part of our general offerings have always been designated to global missions because the Bible teaches that your heart follows your treasure – and we want our hearts to be drawn to the great commission!
So, as we started we basically supported one missionary couple – we became their biggest supporters – and ran with it. It was very exciting to put our money into action and to see God doing cool things in a foreign country. We then started sponsoring children through Compassion. Then we got carried away with Samaritan’s purse shoe boxes. Finally, we decided to contribute to building a couple church roofs in Liberia and got out of control, funding more than 25% of the project ourselves.
In all of this, The Grove has changed it’s position in global missions from an unorganized and small player to becoming a major player. We aren’t sending millions of dollars, we aren’t eradicating malaria – but for us, this have become a part of who we are – not just something on the side that we do. If we choose to actively disorganize we will stop becoming a player at all. This is why the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t a movement at all – it’s a blip on the historical radar, so small that it is having absolutely no lasting impact. This is not the desirable future for the church at all – while we do not seek dominance at an institutional level, we do work in a harmonious way for the common good of all.
The question this pushes on us, is how will we organize for impact? Should we focus on one area, or one ministry? Should we spread out our influence to different regions of the world? Would it better for us to focus on health care? clean water? church planting? children’s ministries? Do we send as much money as possible? Do we start taking short term mission trips? Do we send a family somewhere to become a base camp we can operate out of?
In these areas, there aren’t particularly right or wrong answers, but we want to discern how God is leading us, where God is working and how we can get involved. The discussion is going to be happening at our leadership council meetings.