On Tuesday, I got to be a part of something incredibly significant. We publicly launched our movement with other churches in our city to plant 50 new churches in the Long Beach area over the next 5 years in order to see our city transformed.
It was great to have Rick Warren there for us, kicking off the event and talking about how you don’t need a building, money or many people to plant churches. He was a huge encouragement, and worked the room better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
Miles McPherson shared about what it looks like to be a church that cares for the needs of your city and does something about it.
It was a huge gift to have these two very gifted leaders, who lead some of the largest churches in the country (and who actually planted those churches) help us kick off this movement, but what I was more impressed by was who was in the room. There were church planters and potential church planters. Urban leaders and business leaders. Incredibly wealthy men and women, some of whom lead large companies, as well as leaders who lead nationally recognized ministries. There was socio-economic diversity, denominational diversity, and ethnic diversity. The more than 260 people who filled up the room, looked like Long Beach, and the buzz was palatable.
As I talked with one person after the event they told me about how emotional they were during worship to see the spirit of unity in the room amongst such a diverse crowd. When the church unites, not just for unity’s sake, but for the sake of mission, something powerful happens…and we saw that Tuesday. I’m so grateful for the leaders who have stepped up and who I get to lead in this alongside. It is no small act of humility and sacrifice for each of these pastors to contribute their time, finances and even at times their reputation in some circles in order to see the mission of Jesus moved forward in our city.
Now’s the time when we get going, put our money where our mouth is and get some churches that reflect our city planted. But that was an incredible way to get started.