Over the next five years, with our efforts entirely dependent on the Lord, we will multiply Gospel-centered leaders to cultivate Kingdom flourishing in “grace deserts.” Grace deserts are areas of the South Bay and beyond where there is a lack of spiritual and practical renewal.
Chaos, Calling, Formation, and Flourishing.
In Genesis, God creates humanity with two key distinctions—His image and the ability to both multiply and rule. Bearing the image of God speaks to the representative authority humanity received to show what God was like to the rest of creation by governing and behaving the way God would. The ability to both rule and multiply means that humans alone had the opportunity and responsibility to extend and magnify the presence of God’s goodness by their ability to create new image-bearers through procreation.
Though sin disrupts this plan (work is difficult and multiplication is painful), the call does not change. God’s people are called to specific places to cultivate the flourish that was present in the garden kingdom of Eden.
Here is the rhythmic pattern of God’s plan: a chaotic crisis threatens creation; God appoints a person or people to submit to His plan and obey Him; this party brings reform to the place where it seems that chaos is in control; the reformed structure causes flourishing and multiplication to the place formerly ruled by crisis.
This is the story of Joseph. . .
. . . bringing wisdom, reform, and blessing to Egypt in the middle of a famine.
This is the story of Deborah
. . . guiding Israel to courage in the face of their enemies and their own sinfulness.
This is the story of Jesus. . .
. . .entering into the ultimate chaos of sin and the present evil age, and inaugurating the Kingdom of God and its new creation blessings of healing, resurrection, and salvation.
As we navigate this strategic vision over the next five years, we will focus on these key planning concepts.
We must develop and multiply Gospel-centered men and women who will be the leaders of institutions (churches, businesses, schools, nonprofits, and political offices).
These types of leaders will birth brand new and/or reform current institutions for kingdom flourishing, influencing non-religious cultural institutions for the glory of God through distinctively Gospel-centered, contextually sensitive lenses.
We will need to foster strategic partnerships with organizations that already have trust and influence in the grace deserts we have identified or who have particular expertise that they can use in partnership with our Gospel focus.
We must utilize anything we have as assets to achieve the Lord’s call for this vision. Our building, budget, location, and people are eligible for the Lord’s use. We must be creative and unapologetic about pursuing new resources that we can leverage to reach our goal.