We’re seeing some wonderful evidences of God’s grace at IDC, and we’re also facing some challenges. I think it’s important for us to both celebrate the victories and admit our struggles.
The elders thought a three-part blog series would be helpful in addressing one of the many challenges that we’re facing right now.
What’s the challenge?
The challenge is that we have a lot of seminary students.
Is this a bad thing?
Nope. It’s in many ways a wonderful blessing. We have the ability to send leaders around the world to plant the gospel. In 5-7 years, I can envision seeing little dots all over our world map with representatives from IDC who are making Christ known everywhere. And because we have some amazing students, I really think this will be a reality.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that while we want to be a sending church, we also want to be a local/welcoming church. We want to be a church for the city of Raleigh, not a church for seminary students.
Our burden is to reach local Raleigh folks – every color, every educational background, etc. We want to see lives changed by the gospel, from Raleigh to the ends of the earth.
If you’re a seminary student – we are grateful for you – but please let me encourage you to do a few things:
- Do not ask a first time guest, “Are you a seminary student?” That shouldn’t be your first question. Ask them about where they work, or where they’re from, or if it’s their first time, or whatever. But don’t give them the impression that we’re a seminary church.
- Don’t get in little groups and talk about your classes or your homework. I’m not asking that you pretend like you’re not a student. Just save it for later.
- Evangelize. People ask me if it bothers me that we have so many seminary students; I say, “Nope. I just pray that the proportion changes.” For every seminary student, I pray for four locals.” I pray that the proportion this next year could be more like 4 to 1 instead of 1 to 1. So help us by reaching people. And let me add, many of you are doing this! Keep it up! Keep inviting people to dinner, coffee and events. Come on a mission on Sundays to meet folks and get to know them, and take them to lunch, invite them to your small group, etc.
- Share your ideas. We want to hear from you about how we can engage the city better.
- Pray for the mission. We want to expand and see the city impacted in ways in which we haven’t seen for the glory of Christ. We have some exciting things coming up that we think will help us reach our city better in the future that we’ll be announcing soon. Pray for grace to abound at IDC.
Let’s love our city. Let’s serve our city. Let’s make Jesus known in our city.
(Our next posts regarding this passion to become a church for the city will be from IDC members; one from a non-seminary student, and one from a seminary student).
– Pastor Tony on Behalf of the Elders