If you have had any serious interest in seeing people come to Jesus in recent years, you will have heard and explored all kinds of terms and processes that people are using on the best and effective ways of reaching people. Some of these terms are; Messy Church, Simple Church, Organic Church, Missional Church, Transformational Church, Attractional Church. What we do know in the first 300 years of the church, it highly influenced 25% of the worlds known population and societies culture. It found itself bringing Kingdom values into the heart of the culture. When the church disengages from ’The Culture’ and stops being salt, light and hope then it misses the critical point of the gospel that is to go and Disciple Nations as well as individuals.
Around the globe, as I travel I am excited to see a church that is rising to the challenge, finding new ways to engage with the culture and download Kingdom values.
Andrew Simkin is one such Pastor, leading a new and innovative church in North Auckland.
He writes: ‘This is not to say any of the past was wrong and neither do we pretend to be experts and know better. In fact; all of our past experiences have helped build the faith to ‘risk all’ for the Kingdom.’
Illuminate Church was formed in early 2015. From the outset, we felt the passion to create a Kingdom-focused missional Church with a far wider view than just the Church itself. We had a Holy dissatisfaction with simply creating yet another entity that just ‘gathered’. Rather, we wanted to help shape one that would gather to ‘Go’. The big question was – would the people we gather be up for a journey into something of the unknown or at least, the unfamiliar?
Internally, we have empowered our people to go and do Kingdom exploits. This means that not everything they do has to come under the umbrella (control) of the Church. We will champion them, but not necessarily add yet another ‘department’ to the Church.
Corporately as a Church we have supported numerous community groups that are doing a wonderful job in our region. In addition; we have directly engaged in various community endeavour ourselves, including closing our Sunday services twice a year to serve the community i.e. be seen.
But, why a Sunday you may ask? Simply, it speaks volumes to those we help i.e. that we are prepared to ‘give up’ something of known value to us – to instead, help them!
The various direct and indirect support we have given to the community is the right thing to do and we have done it without looking for anything in return and/or to gain leverage or favour.
However, nothing goes unnoticed and our Father is so faithful. We were recently approached by the local City Council Community Board to do a presentation to them detailing all that we have done. They are now looking at ways to collaborate with us and assist each other. This is a place of influence and we are grateful for the opportunities that will be afforded to us.
We still have a long way to go but, feel that we have made positive steps forward and faith has risen for new adventures ahead in Him!’
I hope that reading this will help add fuel to your fire to see how you can bring the Kingdom of God to your sphere of influence.