A couples years before starting Forefront, I was an intern at a church of about 11,000 people. During my year there I asked everyone I could why they thought that church had grown like it had. In almost every discussion, the person would say, “Well, you know, Southeast has always been about…” and then share their opinion. I realized that in Forefront’s future, people would say, “Forefront’s always been about …” What would they say?
I decided I didn’t want to leave that answer to chance. I wanted it to be crystal clear who we are, and what we were about. So I prayed and prayed, asking God to show me what Forefront should be about. Ultimately the answer was: Forefront would be a place where people who are far from God would come close to Him and have their lives radically transformed. We wanted that to happen primarily in small groups. And we wanted the normal response to life change to be to invite other people to come meet God.
That vision completely impacted our Launch Team decisions. Many people have asked me, “Why did you start with a Launch Team of non-Christians?” Because we wanted people to say, “Well, you know Forefront’s always been about people who are far from God coming close to Him and having their lives radically transformed.” How could we always have been about that if we started with a Launch Team of Christians?
And people ask, “Why did you start with small groups?” Because we wanted people to say, “Well, you know Forefront’s always been about transforming lives, and that’s always happened primarily in small groups.”
And people ask, “Why was your first service a Christmas service, which was three months before your Grand Opening Service, and why didn’t you advertise that Christmas service?” Because we had small groups going for three months and people’s lives were beginning to be transformed, and we wanted to give them something to which they could invite their friends to meet God.
Make sense? I hope so. Next time I’ll tell about the magic switch, that doesn’t exist. Until then, be careful, it’s slippery when wet.
– Featured on newchurches.com