800,000 = an approximate number of people in Nashville who are disconnected from a community that is following Jesus.
Thats a big number. Regardless of how accurate the number is (its probably a low estimate), it keeps us up at night… or at least it should keep us up at night. Thats a lot of people. It seems impossible for our church to connect that many people. How in the world can we connect that many people to Jesus? Should we believe that that many people could be connected?
I know I can’t connect that many people. You probably can’t either. But does that mean there is no hope? Does that mean we are too insignificant? Should we even try? These are all the questions that go through my mind that cause such restlessness in my sleeping.
The Bigger Vision
I always knew that the point of starting a new church was to connect disconnected people. However, while I had a vision for that, it was like my aim was on becoming a self-sustaining church. And while that is important, its like aiming for self-sustaining status almost put a damper on the missional fire of the church.
Our church exists to connect the disconnected. Our church exists for the 800,000!
Which means that you exist for the 800,000. While we cannot connect all 800,000, we can connect our neighbor. We can connect our coworker. We can connect our friend. Together, God can fuel a movement that has the capacity to connect 800,000 people.
The future of the church will not be built only by people who are currently in the church. The future of the church will go forward by the work of God through people who are currently disconnected.
So when God works through you to connect someone, you are connecting someone who will be able to connect someone else, or perhaps lead a community group, or perhaps lead a non-profit, or plant a church, or lead a network of churches. These people don’t look like that today, but God is going to equip them and call them to be a part of His Kingdom – and He wants to use you to connect them!
When we pour into others – the potential for kingdom impact grows. When the kingdom of God grows, the influence in our city grows. When the influence in our city grows, all of a sudden 800,000 people doesn’t sound impossible any more.
800,000 people sounds out of reach. But the person that God puts in your life today sounds well within reach.
Enough community groups to reach every neighborhood in Nashville sounds too big. But actively participating in your community group this week is attainable.
Enough churches to empower and send community groups to reach every neighborhood and every disconnected person sounds absurd – absurd enough to lose some sleep. But if we connect disconnected people together, it can happen – by God’s power alone.
So do you wanna connect 800,000 people?
Begin by praying for and investing in 3 people. Who are 3 people in your life who are disconnected who you will pray for and invite to dinners and family functions and parties? It begins there. God is at work there. The capacity to reach 800,000 people grows as we connect the disconnected people that the Lord has put in our lives right now.
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:24