200 New Churches in the Next Year?

Yesterday I stood in front of a television camera and recorded this announcement to go out with our Sunday broadcast from Richmond’s First Baptist Church:

Often when I’m out and about I bump into someone who says they watch our worship services on TV.  Sometimes they tell me that they go to the early service at their own church and then hurry home to watch, and although I’m honored, I secretly wonder if that’s not overdoing it a little (smile).  But sometimes they tell me First Baptist is their only church, and although they never actually come to our building, they watch every week.  If you are one of those people, then this message is for you.

I want to invite you to take part in something we’re calling “Microchurch,” a bold new initiative of Richmond’s First Baptist Church.  Here’s how it works.  Before next Sunday, think of one or two friends who might be able to come watch the broadcast with you.  Invite them to bring food—something simple and easy—so that after the service is over you can sit down and eat Sunday lunch together.  After lunch take time to share your concerns with one another, and then ask someone to lift those concerns up to God in prayer.  Finally, take up an offering, and talk about how you might use it to put God’s love into action right where you are—in your subdivision, your retirement center, your apartment complex, or your neighborhood.  If you need suggestions, give us a call at 355-8637, ext. 203, and when you do maybe you can tell us how it went for you.  If it works, try it again the next week, and then the week after that.  Make it a regular habit.  Give it a name.  And remember, it doesn’t have to be big to be church.  Jesus said, “Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am also” (Mt. 18:20).

Our hope is to start 200 new Microchurches in the next year, and I’d like to ask for your help.  I’m not asking for your money, just your participation.  I believe that when Jesus asked his disciples to pray that God’s kingdom would come, and that his will would be done, on earth as it is in heaven, he really meant it.  But it’s going to take all of us to bring heaven to earth, and not just the people who come to worship in our building.  I understand that some 20,000 people watch our services on Sunday morning.  If only one percent of those people would accept this challenge we would have those 200 Microchurches I’m talking about, and we might have them not by next year, but by next week.  As those churches start working with us to put God’s love into action I believe heaven will come a little closer to earth, and that those of you who join us in our mission will become part of the answer to the Lord’s prayer. 

How about it?  Think of one or two people you could invite to your home next Sunday, ask them to bring some food, something simple and easy, watch the service together and talk about it over lunch, share your concerns with one another and say a prayer, and then take up an offering and talk about how you might use it to put God’s love into action.  Again, if you need suggestions, call 355-8637, ext. 203, and when you do tell us how it went.  It may seem like a small thing to you—your Microchurch—but it could be the start of something big.  

Really big.

9 thoughts on “200 New Churches in the Next Year?

  1. Dr. Jim,

    What a great idea!

    You and FBC are really on target for 21st century Christianity! For all its evil, God has given us the Internet to use for His glory. Let’s use it to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus while we still have the freedom to do so!

  2. Caught the end of a report today on the evening news with a similar discussion. We have “home schooling” and this seemed to be the same concept, but “home churching” with neighbors and friends. Interesting idea.

  3. Love this idea! Please write about how it works. It’s great to see your church using all of its resources for the good.

  4. Sounds as if you’re serious about “jumping in the water!” What a simple and relevant suggestion to help folks follow Jesus. Maybe we could also suggest that these small groups start their own Facebook group and/or blog to stay in touch all week….
    I like Jack’s word, “splendifierous.”

  5. This is a wonderfully splendid idea Jim! Wait. Wrong word.

    Splendiferous idea!!

    Would FBC Richmond consider putting the entire worship service on the website for those who can’t watch it live? For those who work on Sunday mornings, this would allow for another opportunity to form a church.

  6. Linda…why not record it while you are at work and watch later. AND, you can pull up services on our website, FBCRICHMOND.ORG Go to “SERMONS”etc. Pick & Choose. We attend and tape. Often watch again and “hear” something you missed the first time.

  7. Hey Cecil…thank you for the suggestions. However I live outside of Boston and sadly, the service is not shown up here. So I can’t record it. I do see Jim’s sermons every week once they are posted on the website, as well as the music selections.

    I came home (to Richmond) for Christmas and attended a service at FBC Richmond. Being able to take part in the entire service, hearing the congregation sing the hymns, Eunice Kim play the piano, the pastoral prayers, etc….provided such an uplifting experience for me. I miss that.

    Although, Jim’s sermons do provide a great piece of Richmond for me. 🙂

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