Last weekend it was a real pleasure to have Lane Jones with us. Lane is one of the founders and Senior Leaders at North Point Community Church in Atlanta.
North Point is one of the fastest growing churches in the USA and currently has 33,000 regular attenders across 6 different campuses. Several of us have attended their Drive conference in the past and have found them to be really helpful and thought provoking.
Lane was over in the UK visiting Lead Academy an organisation that I do some work with as a trustee and facilitator. We run events and programmes aimed at helping church leaders fulfil the God given vision and mission of their churches.
I thought Lane was brilliant and really appreciated his humility and willingness to share with us. Far from coming and saying you should do what we do, he talked about learning together and helping one another.
One of the things that has always struck me about North Point is the way they are very deliberate, strategic and intentional in working to reach unchurched people (those who don't normally go to church).
They have very carefully crafted events and activities (environments they call them) to attract unchurched people and to help Christians to invite their friends and family. They are seeing great fruit as a result.
I think we are trying to do something similar at EBC. It will look very different from the environments at North Point, but Messy Church, Songs of Praise, the Refresh cafe, Sunday morning services etc. are all our attempt to craft those kinds of opportunities.
I am not sure we will ever see 33,000 people call EBC their church home, but I do have a starting vision for 1,000...which would be amazing.