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I didn’t know we could do that…

“I didn’t know we could do that…” That’s what I’m hearing as I bring up church planting to people.

When I’ve asked fellow students in my seminary what they plan on doing with their lives and dreams, there seems to be this linear answer of ‘well, i’m going to be a youth pastor, then an associate pastor, and then if things work out, i’d like to be a senior pastor one day’. It sounds like a great plan, and nothing wrong with that, but could there be more?

I went to Canada’s National Church planting congress last year and was the only person from my seminary there (the largest in Canada). I attended a breakout session and what I heard from leaders at all levels repeated asking was – where are all the young, catalytic, entrepreneurial, leaders of the next generation?

I’m convinced that the structures and processes that have been built for raising leaders by previous generations are only producing people who think within those systems (And I’m sure this applies to more than just the realm of ‘spiritual’ leadership). Many of these frameworks are shrinking our hearts, leaving little room for the extraordinary possibilities that we are all capable of and must bring about.

I’ve decided that as I make my transition from work back to full-time school this september, I’ll be launching a new Church Planting & Kingdom Advancing Network on campus. More on this soon. Thoughts?

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • alex mcmanus May 31, 2006, 11:55 am

    I want to help you look for those leaders. I just sent you an email.

  • terrytimm May 31, 2006, 11:59 am

    pumps me up to hear your heart, lon. go for it! loved reading your missional values as well. stay connected…

  • Sam. May 31, 2006, 2:02 pm

    Awesome stuff, Lon. We’ll be praying for you. Be cool to chat with you again soon!

  • Brian Bowen May 31, 2006, 2:23 pm

    I agree… very cool idea… planting right out of seminary… I like it

  • Dave Kludt May 31, 2006, 2:23 pm

    Lon,

    Cool thoughts, and I’m excited to read more about the kinds of things that are happening on your campus. Which seminary are you at up in Canada and what kind of degree are you going after??

    I’m starting a masters program at Fuller in the fall, and can resonate with the feeling that a seminary degree puts you on the “traditional ministry” track where you’re trained to move up the church ladder, which isn’t that different than it’s corporate brother.

    I’ve realized this past semester that I need to start praying about seminary. Not that I will have a great three years of learning so I can start on the ‘church ladder’ as soon as I graduate, but that God will blow my mind in the three years that I spend in school to the point where I am not just prepared to “do ministry”, but that I am prepared to live a radical and catalytic ‘barbarian life’ for Him, no matter if that is in a traditional church setting or something entirely different.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. They’ve challenged me.

    /dave

  • Lon May 31, 2006, 4:44 pm

    Alex, thanks. I know those leaders are out there.

    Terry, Sam, Brian, thanks for the support!

    Dave you’re right on with the ladder analogy. It can certainly feel like that sometimes. I too hope we never ‘settle’ even while we’re in the instutition of learning. It doesn’t mean we need to just sit there and learn, there’s so much that can be done if people just took the initiative!

  • Pastor Josh June 1, 2006, 7:16 pm

    I to thought that I was going to be a youth pastor. God decided to change that when I got out of school. I am now a childrens pastor and a youth director. God will always keep us on our toes. So we will always have to trust in Him.

  • cmart June 1, 2006, 11:53 pm

    Hey Lon,

    The Network sounds great. My wife and I are discussing the idea of starting a small group that would possibly grow into a larger work in our area as well. I’ve been encouraged to do this but frankly do not yet feel that I’m up for the challenge. Very different than I imagined what I’d be doing.

    BTW – what part of Canada. I’m on the West Coast now in the states but I am from Southern Ontario.

  • cmart June 1, 2006, 11:58 pm

    Sorry Lon, Just now connecting the dots. You are Mosaic Ottawa correct?!?!

    I have a sister that lives in Killaloe…population 600!

  • Lon June 2, 2006, 9:15 am

    Pastor Josh, God definitely never ceases to surprise, which is a very good thing. It’s just amazing how much he trusts us and our dreams as well…

    cmart – awesome job connecting the dots! I’m actually still Toronto based, and plan on moving upto Ottawa in 2008 and going from there.

    Killaloe? yeah there’s a lot of smart towns surrounding Ottawa. You’re helping out with Seattle Mosaic right now right ? I plan on visiting Seattle later in the summer and visiting Mars Hill and possible the Mosaic there!

  • cmart June 2, 2006, 1:28 pm

    Hey Lon,
    Killaloe is about an hour east of algonquin.

    And yes I’ve been involved with Seattle Mosaic. It’s been great. I’d love to chat more about this with you. If you get a chance, drop me an email at carldrums@verizon.net

    Thanks and have a great weekend.

    Oh yeah, be sure to connect when you’re in Seattle!

  • Gibson November 4, 2006, 11:22 am

    Hi Lon,I lead a campus church at the University of Nairobi, we target the unreached students. I’d love to correspond with you more on this issue. I just turned 25 so I guess I’m at that point….

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