At our last ViaCordis campfire gathering, we gathered leaders of the churches who are in the ViaCordis network. We had a time of prayer and listening to the Lord and see what the Spirit might be prompting people to share. My friend and associate Doug Lee shared that the Lord really impressed this upon him: “Make the next five years be the best five years.” Instead of coasting or just continuing on, he felt God telling him and his church to really respond to the Lord by focusing on making a strategic investment that will make the most difference for the kingdom.
I recently reconnected with a former supporter and ministry partner from my early days of ministry. I shared with him what I’ve been up to lately with my network of house churches, ViaCordis, and described some of our work in the recovery field. I told them how it feels like God is really blessing our efforts to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus and helping people becoming followers of Jesus. What it feels like we’re not doing such a great job with, I explained, is getting additional house churches started. We have discipling groups with lots of transformation, but not actual house churches.
The church I’m helping plant, ViaCordis, recently celebrated its 3rd birthday. We had a campfire get-together to share and celebrate, and the Lord prompted one of our team members to look back at our prayer journals from when we first started ViaCordis. What we saw there was astonishing.
Thanks to the giftedness of one our core team members, we’d kept a meticulous record of our early prayers. When we looked back at those notes on what we were praying for in the next 3 to 5 year window, a number of common themes emerged: diversity, outward, people who don’t know Jesus, ministering to the least of these, leadership development in the harvest, and structures that allow for growth and change. The Lord gave us a vision to be like faucet that keeps sending people out.
Some of you may have seen this image before. It’s the root structure of a grove of aspen trees. This has become the guiding image for the network of missional house churches I’m helping start.
The aspen grove is actually the world’s largest organism as the entire grove shares one root system beneath the surface. Above the earth’s surface, the trees each appear separate, yet each tree contains the exact same DNA as the tree next to it, all because they share the same roots.