At Grace, we often talk about mobilizing 151,000 fully devoted followers of Jesus in the Northeast (by the way, you can check out our full vision statement by clicking here). For many, that number can feel so big that it’s hard to connect with. If you’re more mathematically minded, you may wonder how that is even possible. It’s an important question that the leadership of Grace continues to wrestle with.
Is it possible to reach that vision? What would that even look like?
If you do the math based on our current multi-site model, we would need to launch around 250 locations to begin approaching the fulfillment of our vision. That number is very much within the realm of possibility. But it requires us always to keep focused on three things:
- Setting things up in ways that can grow and scale as the church grows, avoiding bottlenecks.
- Developing new leaders who can be empowered and commissioned to launch more locations.
- The person or people we haven’t reached yet.
Also, keep in mind that Grace is not married to a specific model or approach. In fact, one of our core staff values is “parkour hardcore.”
We challenge ourselves to always be flexible and adapt as situations change and develop. We strive to be the kind of people who are never afraid to make the hard decision if it means we will end up reaching more people with the Gospel. That means that the way our church grows and reaches people in ten years may look very different than the way we do it now.
You can see this in our recently-launched locations in Fishkill and Monroe. The speed of their launches and the flexibility of their locations both represent a shift in thinking from how we’ve launched locations in the past. And there are still many other strategies and approaches to explore as we continue moving forward in the vision of LET’S GO.
What about church planting? Micro churches? Locations centered around reaching certain ethnic groups? These options and many more are all things we’re exploring (and some are even already being worked on).
The Secret Weapon
Even with all of this, we haven’t touched on the most potent or essential strategy for seeing the vision of Grace accomplished: YOU!
If you are a follower of Jesus, that means you have been recruited by Him to “go and make disciples” (see Matthew 28:19-20). The word “disciple” refers to one who is a learner or student. So Jesus is saying, “Go and make more followers of me!”
If “making disciples” sounds like something you can’t do unless you’ve been to seminary or had formal Bible training, you’re not alone!
It’s a common understanding that churches and pastors are supposed to be the ones that do God’s work. But Jesus calls each of us to not only be followers of Him but on a mission for Him.
A call to be a disciple OF Jesus is a call to also be a disciple maker FOR Jesus.
While I don’t have time to explore precisely what that looks like in this post, a simple way to think about it is by asking yourself the question, “How can I help those around me take another step toward Jesus?”
In the LET’S GO movement, we’re focusing on “going deep” and “going wide.” This idea of each of us going and making disciples shows what “going deep” is all about! The point isn’t to know more about the Bible, attend more church services, or volunteer for more serving opportunities. Those are all great things, but they are meant to propel the mission that Jesus has set before us: making disciples!
What does all this have to do with the number 151,000? It COMPLETELY changes the math. One person, one leader, one church, will never be able to achieve this vision. But if dozens of people can be mobilized to go and make disciples, they will reach hundreds. And as those hundreds become fully devoted followers of Jesus, they will reach thousands. And those thousands will soon begin to reach hundreds of thousands. Suddenly, 151,000 almost seems too small a number! That is the power of multiplication!
It’s why we’re dedicating so much time, effort, and resources to making sure that we’re taking people deep in their walk with the Lord.
If you’re joining us in the LET’S GO movement, one of the most important steps you can take is to simply draw near to Jesus in your personal life. Make Him the center of your life. Become a more fully devoted follower. As you take that journey, you’ll soon hear His call to go and make disciples.
Are you ready to take your next step?
What about you? How do you respond to the 151,000 number? Leave a comment below and tell us how God is challenging you with the vision of 151,000 fully devoted followers of Jesus.