Yesterday I caught up with an old friend – a bloke called Mark Wilson who is senior pastor at Whitford Church of Christ, one of our biggest local churches in Perth. Mark and I did youth ministry together when we were in our teens, both did a teaching degree, moved into youth ministry, then both switched roles in the churches we were in to become senior pastors. At this point our stories changed as Mark continued to lead a large church and I sensed a calling to pioneer new kinds of churches.
I am in the process of moving around some of our big church guys and talking about Forge with them. In the past there has been animosity between established big churches and emerging new churches – with each being threatened by the other to some degree.
Pretty sad really…
I really enjoyed the time we spent sharing what God is doing in each of our lives, families and ministries. As I sat in the foyer I flipped thru the Whitford literature and saw that they are doing a lot of good stuff in the community, they are involved with a lot of mission projects and Mark told me that at some stage they may even plant another congregation that looks nothing like Whitford.
I am very hopeful that as I get around the guys we might be able to establish a healthy mutual respect rather than any kind of adversarial relationship.
I sense the kingdom will benefit from many kinds of churches and if we can work together to that end then God would be pretty cool with that.