Growing up in Alaska one of my favorite things to do was to go camping. We would pitch our tents, or some drove campers, but eventually we did what everybody loved which was to build a campfire.
It was fun work to stack the kindling wood vertical to create a teepee shape. Underneath we would put highly flammable material and twigs. Then we had small branches nearby and bigger, already cut, logs ready for the big fire. We would build it well and then if we did a good job it burned for a long time.
We told stories, laughed, cooked marshmallows and ate hot dogs. It never failed. We had such a good time that inevitably someone looked at the fire and said, “oh no, the fire’s going out!”
This provoked a lot of scurrying about and we did a modified version of what we did in the beginning with one exception. Step one was to find the brightly glowing flames or embers and bring them together.
Once we brought them together we blew on the flame, added more kindling, and repeated much of step one. Step two was easier because we already had the flame.
This comes to my mind as I reflect on the changes we are making to reallocate resources both human and financial from Gardner to Olathe. Yes, there is life in Gardner. There is a flame! We don’t want to put that out nor do we want it to die out. We will discontinue the Sunday experience there but we plan to continue to reach out, to pray and to host community groups.
We need to place what is burning in Gardner, what is burning in Olathe, and what is burning in Campus Español together, so that the flame of God’s mission for Indian Creek burns brighter and longer. We are better together.
In this season, we will reinvest in the fire of discipleship. Let me explain. Following Jesus means we imitate Him. We need each one sharing the Good News of Jesus with friends and neighbors—not just inviting to church or to an event. It is personal— not simply corporate, faith sharing. It is life on life.
You could call it the micro level of faith. The macro is the church doing faith sharing in services or classrooms. We can’t depend on the church to do it for us. Truly following the example of Jesus means each of us is replicating His life on our own.
So what can you do today? How can you get started?
Each one of us needs to be personally on fire for Jesus and we need a passion for those who don’t know Him. This is core to true discipleship.
This kind of growth takes longer, but has a longer lasting result for the individual, the community we serve, and the church. This kind of church reproduces and grows. This kind of church changes culture.
This is biblical and it is the heritage of Indian Creek. We must reclaim this to be effective and bear fruit into the future.
This isn’t an overnight overhaul. It will take work from all of us. It is a steady turning of the culture from a do it for me to a teach me how so I can pass it on mentality.
We will talk more about this during our Vision Night this Sunday, at 6:30pm in the Activity Center. I want you to come and learn how you can be a part of the flame that will burn brightly at Indian Creek.