Our little church got its start in pancake breakfasts. We sketched out a common vision in a living room over soup and sandwiches last fall. We began worshipping every week in a different living room in the winter. And we moved to an ‘upper room’ in a quiet downtown in the spring. No signs indicated that *this is, in fact, where we meet*. No website. I even forgot the password to our Twitter account—so no tweets. Really, just a Facebook page and (isn’t this funny when you think about it?) an ‘Event’–a new one, with new invitees–for every service. 7 months worth of them.
I’ve always thought the typical church planting metaphor of “Launching” was an odd one. It’s church planting, right? Why are we mixing agricultural-pastoral metaphors with those of aeronautics and space travel? A successful launch requires lots of rocket fuel. A fruitful garden requires rich soil and sunlight. We’re planting, watering, pruning, fertilizing — and as God pleases, we’re growing and bearing fruit. Any expansion of our garden has come from others finding the soil fertile and the sunlight adequate.
This fall we have a chance to till a few new rows in our garden. We’ll talk with Winthrop University students at Convocation, inviting them to put down some roots with us. We’ll also begin having weekly morning worship in September, welcoming folks who need some ante-meridiem sunlight.
And yes, we’ll have some signs and a website. But we’ll still be a garden.
When a satellite launches, when a shuttle has a catastrophic explosion, or when a telescope sends back exotic photos, NASA makes the front page. You can put a lot of fuel and expensive technology into a risky, flashy ‘launch’. But, day after day, people need a steady diet full of fruits and vegetables.