On Monday, we had scheduled meetings with the staff and leadership team. As we prepared for the trip, we knew that they were going to ask us to press into certain church and staff life areas. God had been doing some amazing things that there pressing the staff organizationally and personally! They were excited and hopeful that they could stay on top of the wave. We were very interested in meeting with them to hear what their plans were for the year and (mostly) to hear what God has been doing in their midst.
The whole staff crew was assembled and Daniel laid out the top priorities for the year: discipleship / small groups and outward / community outreach topped the list. As we talked through these things, we began to see that God seemed to be doing some e-x-p-a-n-s-i-o-n work at the Hamburgprojekt.
Here’s what we mean: these core priorities had been a part of the “DNA” since the beginning. As we talked though, we realized that God had been doing two “new” things: leadership raising and church planting. The Hamburgprojekt, like its sister churches in the network, had planted with two men teams. They would gather a leadership team around them with members who would focus on certain ministry areas. Inevitably, the church would grow – and the shepherding task would grow. As I watched this happen, and see the pressure mount on the leadership team, I mentioned to them that there is an organizational structure that can care for a church of 50 or of 500. Elders and deacons. As the staff at the Hamburgprojekt considered these things, they saw that God had been slowly raising leaders in their midst to fill these roles. It is shocking and exciting to see God at work in areas where we are not (yet!).
Secondly, God had brought to the Hamburprojekt a series of conversations and men who were interested in partnering with the church to plant other churches. One such place is Wilhelmsburg, a river island on the Elbe (more on that later). In other words, while they are focused on the things that make a church healthy and faithful (if there’s a difference) God was bringing people to them so the Church (big “C”) could grow. It was dizzying to think through. The Hamburgprojekt is barely 3 years old and God was already positioning them to possibly plant other churches in other places in North Germany.
We’ll tell you about one such place when we get to Thursday…
What an amazing vision God has – and He let’s us partner with Him!