Dear Convergence Leader, Member, Attendee, and/or Visitor,
For those of you who could not attend our member meeting on June 14th, we wanted to share the main thrust of the meeting with you, which had to do with the future of our church and the vision for a “re-launch.”
We began with a re-sharing of our vision and mission:
Our vision is God converging with our lives, changing us to change the world.
Our mission is to hear God, know God, and respond to God.
This is not something that is new for us. It’s not a new direction for us. This is not something that I made up. This is what I believe to be the word of God that came to me and that inspired the launch of Convergence in the first place. Why our vision and mission are so crucial to our future is that they undergird everything that we do as a faith community. We long to see God influence every aspect of our lives and believe that in order to accomplish this, we must hear Him, know Him, and respond to Him. Our hope is to live out God’s calling for us individually and collectively as a church with faithfulness and perseverance.
When churches are planted, there are a few characteristics that are deemed to be indicators of health:
- A launch team of about 35-40 people.
- Planting in the vicinity of the sending church (within 50 miles).
- The character of the church planter.
Convergence didn’t have the first or the second characteristic, and the third one (as many of you have come to know) was questionable. 😉 In any case, after seven years of ministry, growing every which way, we are now in a season where we are considering a re-launch. There is a concept for toddlers called, “parallel play.” Parallel play is when toddlers are doing their own thing next to each other thinking that they’re playing with each other. In some ways, I feel that this describes our church. We have so many humble and faithful servants of God who are pouring out their lives faithfully in their respective ministries, but many of us feel alone in our mission and ministry. Also, there have been many people who have had a challenging time connecting with the church members on a deeper level. All of this is a natural occurrence that many churches face over time. This is why I believe that now is the time for us to gather together as a whole family and re-launch our church.
The church is God’s missional force in this world. The church is what God uses to fulfill His redemptive work. And now, we have the opportunity to establish ourselves as an enduring faith community that will last far into the future. We have the opportunity to love one another as we experience God’s love to us in Christ Jesus. We have the opportunity to pour our lives into something that is greater than us and simultaneously life-giving to us. I believe that God is doing something absolutely amazing in our church right now. I believe that He is calling us to hear Him, know Him, and respond to Him.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ moves and is on the move. It begins in God, makes itself manifest in Jesus Christ, and empowers you and me through the Holy Spirit living and moving in us. This movement of God in us is illustrated in Jesus’ final words in this world:
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:6-8
With all of this being said, we are asking for people who feel called to this new movement at Convergence to commit to being a part of this new launch team. So far, we have 29 committed people who have said yes this past Sunday and we believe that there are more that will be committing through this week as word gets out.
Jeff Chou, one of our Convergence elders, has felt called to lead the strategic implementation of this re-launch and has laid out a brief outline of what this process will look like below. We don’t have everything figured out. Why? One of our core tenets is to hear God. This is a continual aspect of our lives and this is what we will continue to do as we move forward. We do, however, know that we feel convicted to move forward in this re-launch process and that our God is faithful and good!!!
Stepping out in faith with you,
Outline of Re-Launch Process
We’re planning the re-launch to happen in 3 phases. We’re calling these phases “Listening & Learning”, “Planning”, and finally, “Launching”. Each phase lasts between 2-4 months.
In the “Listening & Learning” phase we’ll be going through time of hearing from God, hearing from each other, assessing where we are as a church, and who we are as people. The church is going to be investing in us by sending us to a leadership conference in August.
We’ll then move into a phase of “Planning” what Convergence 2.0 will look like. This phase will be characterized by more frequent meetings, which will include planning church service and ministries logistically, but also times of fellowship and breaking bread together. For a period of 6 weeks in September and October, we will be meeting twice a week. Once on Sunday afternoon, and once during the mid week. We’re asking people on the re-launch team to commit to attending at least 4 of the 6 weeks of this intensive.
The “Launching” phase starts on November 1st, and will run through January of 2016. We’ll roll out our new service and ministries format, and have a couple months to tweak and fine tune things as we go along.
The elder team at Convergence would love to serve with any and all who feel called to join this process. We believe that our church is comprised of uniquely gifted individuals whom God will use to shape and define the future of the church. The elder team has no preconceived notions as to what the church should look like at the re-launch – this is truly an opportunity to create alongside brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is definitely not a light commitment. We believe that along this journey we will be challenged into better listening to, knowing, and responding to God. It is through our response that we hope to re-launch a church to reach the lost and give hope to the hopeless.
If you feel that God is calling you into committing to the re-launch team, please contact Jeff (firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-676-7447), and we will be in touch with next steps!
Leading the charge,