A church that is both deep and wide. This concept has been pervading my mind ever since Andrew’s sermon several weeks ago, and I believe each follower of Jesus needs to consider it with me.
Will we be deep? Pursuing intimate friendship with Jesus, studying scripture, intentional to give glory to God in every facet of our lives and living in meaningful Christ-centered community with each other?
Will we be wide? Making a place for anyone and everyone to experience the Gospel, purposefully living to see as many people as possible put their trust in Jesus?
The challenge is obvious. Take preaching for example. The more theologically intricate a sermon is, the less approachable for a person who has no background with Jesus. And yet – if everything we do is geared toward pre-christians, mature followers of Jesus may feel that their river runs dry.
Deep and wide. Is it even possible? I propose that for our church to be both deep and wide, we must leverage two ancient truths:
#1 It’s about Him (God) and them.
As we turn our focus to glorifying Jesus and advancing HIS Kingdom, we will begin to think about ourselves less. As we think about ourselves less, we will think less about having or not having our individual spiritual needs met. In fact, we will become more alive in Christ than ever before as we glorify Jesus and share His love with others.
#2 As we get bigger, we need to get smaller.
When I first joined Mosaic, there were about 20people total. We gathered on Sundays at the Lutheran Student Center in the U-District and even one new visitor on a Sunday was basically synonymous with God having performed a miracle. In contrast, around thirty people sat on the floor at Mosaic the Sunday before last; there simply wasn’t space for them to sit anywhere else. God is bringing people to Mosaic, transforming their lives through His grace, and knitting them into this local expression of His body.
Is there a certain size we will reach when we will say “we’re full–no more room for people here?” Absolutely not!
This is the fundamental reason why we will transition to two Sunday services in January. We need to ensure that we are consistently in a position to welcome new people into the body of Christ.
But as our church gets bigger, we must get smaller in order to pursue the same depth that we see in Acts 2. The essence of getting smaller is to commit to agroup of people who you can endeavor in the values of Acts 2:42-47 together. We think this is best done through Lifegroups. What is a Lifegroup? A Christ-centered community, devoted to connecting with each other and encountering God together. In this definition, the word “devoted” is essential. There is no such thing as being partially devoted. You either are or you aren’t. When a group of people is devoted to the to the vision of Lifegroup, to going small together, the potential for depth in God and in Christ-centered community is seemingly limitless.
I want to be a person who knows Jesus intimately in the midst of meaningful, Christ-centered community. And I want to be a person who sees countless people put their faith in Jesus. Deep and Wide. I am not willing to settle for anything less.
It is possible for our church to be both deep and wide? Will you come with us?
By Executive Pastor Paul Jackson