I am more excited than ever for Exponential 2019 as we dive into the theme “Made For More.” If we are going to really experience Kingdom Movement throughout the world we must equip the Church to be the Church where we live, work, and play.
As ministry leaders it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that since we have a ministry title and a job description it is our responsibility to carry every burden, meet every need, be everything to everyone. But the real power isn’t in us as titled leaders; the real power of the Church is found when all of us who follow Jesus step up to live like God’s kids, and embrace our calling to be ministers of the Gospel wherever we go.
I remember the first time I really experienced this in action: I was an Associate Pastor overseeing small groups at a church. Back in Seminary, I had learned how to do hospital visits, and I had apprenticed under the Senior Pastor of the Church caring for people by showing up in their vulnerable moments.
One day a small group leader approached me and shared that someone in their group had recently had a baby. Everyone was so excited for this family, elated at their new addition. But I wasn’t excited. I felt fear because they had welcomed the baby a couple of days before hand, and I had not been to the hospital to visit them. I thought I was going to get in trouble with the Senior Pastor.
That small group leader saw the look on my face; clearly fear is not a normal expression when someone shares that a baby was born. So when he asked me about it, I told him the truth and said, “Well, the pastors are supposed to do hospital visits.”
This small group leader was a new Christ-follower. He was on fire for Jesus and leading and loving people. He didn’t yet know all the rules for pastors; the expectations. He just looked at me and asked, “Why would you need to go? I’m their small group leader. Within hours of the birth a few families had already visited them in the hospital. We’ve got a meal train lined up for them for the next few weeks.” He kept going with a list of all of the ways that small group was coming around this young family.
That is being the Church. That is being equipped and unleashed for Kingdom Movement. If we can help the people in our churches understand that they are made for more, and if we as pastors can get out of the way, then we will see them light up to be the church where they live, work, and play.
I’m super excited about 2019 Exponential. I hope to see you there!
Dave Dummitt is the lead pastor of 2|42 Community Church, ranked by Outreach Magazine for 3 years in a row as one of the top 20 fastest-growing churches in America.