“If you were not on staff at your own church, would you attend your church?” asked the speaker to a room full of Baptist ministers.
Groans, chuckles, and whispers became audible as the conference processed the profound thought.
I heard this question at a conference this past February. Reflection on the answer causes ministers to rethink how we are the church in our own communities. It even calls us to evaluate what we should possibly reconsider in our own churches to reflect the ever-changing needs of our communities, contexts in which we operate and the way we worship.
As a church starter, I have the privilege of saying “yes” to the original question. I love my church. I love our contemplative worship. I love our engagement in spiritual formation. I love our approach to holistic ministry.
One of the positives about starting a church is we start with a blank slate. We create new traditions. We adapt to our own culture. We are able to be relevant to those around us because we can quickly adapt to what is happening ‘now.’
This is also a challenge. At Grace Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas, we often find ourselves creating for the first time: Creating patterns of worship, space for encountering Jesus and helping meet the needs of the culture through holistic participation.
Recently at a CBF church planters conference at DaySpring Baptist Church in Waco, one of the founders of that church asked the question, “If you could have church be any way you want it to be, how would you do it? You have a blank canvas, and can paint it however you want, so have fun creating.”
The seemingly daunting task of creating something is actually pretty fun. We have incredible leaders at our church, joining with one another to create our own culture, identity and traditions.
Even if you are in an established church, as I was before church planting, the call to be creative is ahead of you daily. Created in the image of God, we are gifted with God’s creativity.
How will you create with God today?
Kyle Tubbs is the Church Planter and Primary Teaching Pastor at Grace. This post was originally published on the CBF blog. Kyle is featured in the latest issue of fellowship! magazine in the story “CBF church starters use creativity to build community” by Katelyn McWilliams and wrote this blog post as a part of a year-long series. Read part 1 here.