Last evening my wife and I attended a dinner gathering of folk interested in helping church planters plant churches.  It was part of the British Columbia Baptist Churches (BCBC) group.   A couple of specific things come to mind.

1. it was a fund raiser. The host identified at the outset that the guest list of100 had an exclusivity to it. We were people who in the past had invested financially into this kind of venture, so were invited to come together again for a meal, hear some stories, and invest again. I wasn’t offended when told that. In fact I felt kind of privileged.

2. Though it was about church planting, the heros presented were the men and women involved in endeavouring to establish new faith communities. 7 couples were there and they shared their stories. In all cases they were joyful people. I think they like doing what they were doing. In a couple of cases they were actually audacious enough to want to “change the world”. One man shared his incredible joy in baptizing his mother…a woman raised in another faith tradition entirely.

3. there was hope in the gathering. We can do something constructive to people, faith and society. And we can do it better together than individually.

4. there was laughter and brightness. It may link to the above comment but it was palpable. Nothing smells better to a group than “success”. There is no better deodorant for a locker room than winning. .

5. we were glad to give. Really, it was an hilarious experience. You feel something when you cut that cheque and the feeling is marvellous.

6. interestingly, this event at the end of the day came at the culmination of several days of intense, difficult, life altering discussions. I was working with some situations where it seemed like “death” was near, if not inevitable. Physically we die, but organizationally we die too. And personally, situations die. Funny how that is. I know it sounds dramatic but there are times when life and death are juxtaposed right next to each other. You move from one to the next almost seamlessly. And you do because you have too.

7. birthing a church is a good metaphor. It is so hopeful. Like the birth of a baby, it brings unlimited potential full of dreams that are yet to be accomplished. If you plant a church you have a dream that this one will be good, and the future will be bright. You have to believe that