For so many years we tried to conform all churches to "the model / the pattern"... believing by default that "one size fits all". That was a dreadful error. I am so sorry. There was a subtle insinuation that God was then obligated to fill the gatherings with people - after all, we had 'the model'.
The last four or five years has seen the humility return [we cannot say we have "the model" - that is sheer arrogance]. God has been so kind to take us back to the central story - we are called to plant the gospel, then shape the community around that story in such a way that is culturally aware, contextually accurate and biblically true. The churches that have been born under these new skies are doing so well!
The gospel has brought revitalization to the older believers ["I feel like I have been born again again"] and drawn "not yet Jesus lovers" to see what this gospel journey is about. The difference between these types of plants is night and day. I am so proud of these planters.
In Toronto, I was asked to be part of the transition of the captaincy of the community [can you believe, also called Freeway Church] from Loys and Sharon to Jaco and Catherine. This is a community very dear to our hearts. We have watched her 12 year journey. As with all churches, she has had some remarkable highs and some devastating lows. Some of this has been caused by man's weakness and some of it by the enemy's endeavors. I am so delighted that there is new leadership legs for this new chapter. This is a very good community that is entering into the signs of spring.
Then yesterday I spent much of the day with the Rock Harbor staff. This incredible mega-church is shrouded with humility - I think the Lord loves this about them. M and I have planted a church, we have replanted a church and, in God's kindness, we have been asked to empower this mega-church to become a movement. Let it be sufficient to say at this time, most medium sized churches remain there, not because of calling or mandate but by style and approach. The corner store cannot become a major retailer if she continues to operate with small store systems. But we can talk about that later...