In The Beginning
In 2005, Peter left his marketplace career as a public company executive to go into full time ministry. Peter was soon called to serve on the leadership team and as Pastor of Worship and the Arts as Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA. After five years of fruitful ministry, Peter and his wife Lori, began to feel called to start a new church that would be radically committed to helping people all over New England and the world to become all that God intended them to be. In May 2011, Peter left his position at Grace Chapel to pursue the dream that God had put on his heart. What follows is the vision of the church in Peter’s words.
The Seed of an Idea
One day while I was sitting in my office praying, the beginning of a thought came into my mind. I began to consider what church would be like if there were no traditional church only a traditional faith. But as I considered this, I realized that I, we all have too much baggage to give this idea fair consideration. I ask for God’s help and the following scenario came to mind:
It is today, 2011. On Friday, April 22, 2011, our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on Beacon Hill in Boston. Joseph of Arlington took possession of the body and buried Jesus in his personal family tomb. We his disciples scattered when Jesus was arrested and were in hiding. On Sunday, April 24, some of the women who were fellow followers of Jesus went to the tomb to adorn he grave. When they arrived, the tomb was empty and an angel of the Lord spoke to them telling them that Jesus has risen from the dead just as he said he would. These women came back and told us what had happened and some of us ran down to the tomb to check it out and found it just as the women had said. When they returned and were telling us what happened, suddenly Jesus appeared to us - alive! We saw him several times over the next month or so. When we were fishing, on a road trip, and then he gathered us together and commanded us saying, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to do everything that I have commanded you. And I am with you even to the end of the age.” And then he said, “You will be my witnesses in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, New England, and even to the ends of the earth.” And then he ascended into heaven. The Question: What do we do? What do you do? There is no church model. No way that we have always done things. We have Jesus’ words and an entire world to reach before he returns.
I think we would speak of THE church - not churches.
I think we would work together - not compete.
I think we would care more about giving God glory then who got the credit.
I think we would use every means at our disposal to reach the world with the Gospel
I think that we would want to plant as many churches in as many places as possible.
I think we would be trying to take the Gospel viral.
I think we would be one church in many locations.
Technology allows this to be a reality. We have the opportunity to be the most united church the world has known since the first century. Will we be unselfish? Will we look beyond the walls of our own church? Would I be willing provide the means for another local body to plant a church in another part of the country - another part of the world? Would I be willing to have a ministry that can’t be measured by weekly attendance in my churches? As I look at the previous sentence, I see the problem. My church? It’s not my church. It is Jesus’ church. They are all Jesus’ churches. When we begin to operate with that truth at our core, the Kingdom of God will increase.
Revive seeks to be a New England expression of this kind of movement. Revive will seek to cleave (partner is not a strong enough word) to other purpose driven church movements for the glory of God. These churches will resource each other, build each other, share in each other’s lives. We will be a part of each other’s stories as we all seek to be part of God’s story. We will teach each other. Use each other’s strengths to make all of the churches stronger. We will love one another. Sharing ideas together we will be wiser and more creative than any of us would be alone.