Revolution is going to turn 5 years old this Sunday. It is really hard to believe that the church God birthed in me 13 years ago while living in Chicago actually came to be with 11 people who prayed and dreamed together in Tucson, AZ. Over the coming week as we gear up towards Sunday I thought I’d share some of the dreams that drove us to start Revolution and still drive us to this day.
On Monday, we looked at our dream of helping people become who they were created to be. On Tuesday, we looked at how to help people take their next step with Jesus and why that is so important. On Wednesday, we looked at our target, what we call: Get the men, win the war. Yesterday we looked at how to be simple. To wrap up the 5 things that drive Revolution, we’ll look at our dream of unleashing leaders. Another way of thinking about this drive is to plant churches that plant more churches.
From day one of Revolution Church, we have dreamed of raising up an army of leaders that are unleashed to be on mission, develop other leaders where they work, live and play and out of those leaders, plant churches.
The reason is simple: more evangelism happens in church plants than established church. Also, in Tucson, because of our terrible highway system, people largely stay in their area of the city. To reach a city and see it changed, you have to plant churches.
The way we’ve stated this has been: We want everyone in Tucson to live within 10 minutes of a church we planted.
What does that look like?
It looks like Revolution Churches all over Tucson. Some that have video preaching, some that have live preaching. But all of them carrying the Revolution DNA (helping people live the life God created them to live, taking their next step, being simple, calling men and women to be who God created them to be). This means that all Revolution Churches will do MC’s, preach the same sermon each week, use the same study materials, the same DNA. Our hope is that we become a large extended family, a movement.
Why do it like this?
Church planting is expensive and not predictable. Most church plants fail in the first year because they don’t get traction, run out of finances or don’t have leaders. By planting a Revolution Church, a name that is known in Tucson, there is some weight behind that. It also enables a church in a wealthier part of the city to help a church in a poorer part of the city have the same level of ministry and leadership. It helps people feel part of a larger movement. We have said from day one, our church planting and what each one looks like will depend on the leaders we have at the time at that plant. I think many leaders are unwise when they say, “We will only do it this way.” That’s poor stewardship.
Also, as I’ve talked with pastors who have planted churches, the wise stewardship that comes through sharing finances, missional community materials, devotional questions, kid and student curriculums is wise stewardship. If you have 10 churches, why create 10 different things, 10 different sermons? That’s a poor use of time and resources in my opinion.
As a church, we help to plant autonomous churches in Tucson and other parts of the country (in fact, as we plant we are supporting a church plant that is in the same area of the city that we are hoping to plant in because we believe Tucson needs more gospel-centered church), but our primary means of church planting efforts will go into planting Revolution Churches around Tucson.
One of the things I’m most excited about are the steps we are taking for this to happen. After years of praying and dreaming, we are seeing how God is moving and we are praying that we will plant Revolution Church | Midtown in January 2015.