What's My Role?
One of the clearest signs of God going before us as we start Ridgeline Church is the incredible team He is building around us. We have diverse gifts, but we're united in purpose: We want to plant churches in pursuit of a spiritual awakening in the Salt Lake County.
While there can be great clarity surrounding WHAT we're trying to do, there can be confusion regarding HOW to best play our individual part. I've been asked by members of our own team, "What exactly is my specific role as a part of the launch team?"
That's a great question. Everyone has jobs. Everyone has families. Everyone wants to help, but doesn't always understand how. I've thought about this question a lot. Here are three roles I'm asking members of our launch team to embody:
This is our primary identity as teams planting churches. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus. That means we don't just start new churches to provide new homes for existing Christians, but that we are helping those who don't know Jesus come to know and follow Him by faith. We have to learn the people, love the people and live among the people God has called us to. We follow the leading of God's Spirit and seek every opportunity He would provide to share the good news of Jesus with people who don't know Him. We are missionaries.
Cultures are comprised of people. What we believe, the way we speak and how we do things will inevitably set the tone and define the culture that will develop as the church grows. Healthy cultures don't just happen, they have to be intentionally built. That's not the job of the pastor alone, but every person who chooses to join the team. This is why we have to clearly communicate what we want our culture to be comprised of and then carefully live it out. We are culture carriers.
Starting a new church can be very discouraging. For some it means leaving friends, families and jobs they know, love and have worked hard to establish. On difficult days you find yourself asking if it was worth it, if it will work and if you made a big mistake. We all feel those emotions and we tend to feel them at different times and on different days. When one of us has a difficult day, it's critical that others of us are there to encourage through it. We remind one another of God's goodness, His power and His faithfulness. We remind one another of why we got into this in the first place and of the bright future we believe God has for our new work. We are encouragers.
While these three roles are necessary in the lives of all Christians, they are especially necessary if you're going to join a team starting a new church. Embody them well and a new church can thrive. Ignore them and failure is probably only a matter of time. Thankfully we serve a good God who can empower us for everything He calls us to.