Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Grace City, whose leader Tim Clemens and hits team, build their health and vitality through initiatives such as this.
Read the conversation below.
NCLS: You’ve already described your journey from your starting point to now and some of those seasonal changes that happen with a hungry church plant beginning to a more established group. Are there any other particular features of the journey over the last few years that would be notable? How has the church changed in the last few years?
TC: How has the church changed? So we’ve changed in size. Probably seem now more established. In some ways, the leadership team is the same size, but just more of us are paid and more of us are full-time than we once were, and we’ve now got additional clinger-oners, so we’ve started an internship and all that sort of stuff. That’s staff team, but obviously there’s an increasing number of lay and just volunteer leaders across the church.
Now, obviously, two services as opposed to one.
NCLS: And what was the trigger to start a second service?
TC: We were filling up the room. I always like to talk about we have a harvest-sized vision, not a barn-sized vision, and so if the vision is set by the size of the barn, you fill up and you think, done. It’s packed up and we’ve reached the goal.
But if your vision is set by the harvest, then you just get depressed that so many people don’t know Jesus, and so you say, we’ve got to do whatever we can to reach more. So we start a second service, and then we’ll start a third and a fourth.
NCLS: So that’s part of the vision here, to be located here or potentially to be located elsewhere?
TC: I’m not heaps committed to this building, so, in fact, the building is too small for the vision, so we’ll have to at some point. But church planting is also part of that, so how church planting and building size comes into it, we’ll just have to see.
NCLS: Let’s come back then to factors that you think have contributed to your health and vitality. You’ve mentioned keeping the Gospel central, and the building facilities have helped. What other factors?
TC: So I would say the vision of the team and structures to mobilise others. So a favourite little phrase of mine is, if you aim at nothing, you hit it every time. And so just trying to cast a vision before people and using Gospel convictions, so you need to paint it using Biblical convictions like the reality of Heaven and Hell.
We’re not just trying to build a megachurch. This vision arises out of Biblical realities. So if we’re going in clear vision, thousands of the disciples trust in you if you are radically committed to the cause of Christ.
NCLS: That’s your vision statement?
TC: Yes. There’s a second line to that which is “By God’s grace, they’ll worship God passionately, love their church deeply, serve their city boldly.” Long story as to how that second line came about though.
Second thing is the team factor, I think. So having a big believer in the theology of gifting, so that goes back to the, what am I good at? I think what I do well is communicate from the front. I am a systems strategic thinker, so I’m good at building systems and procedures and structures And I have a fair mix of, if I have the time, I’m gifted at administration, so I’m a data analyst. I like all that sort of stuff.
But when I do those three things, I don’t have heaps of time for lots of other stuff, so I end up doing those three things, really, and then managing a team of others who everything else.