God is on the move!
The only explanation for the last few months is that God is at work in our midst doing more than we could ask or imagine. He’s raising up a fresh, Jesus-looking movement, and we’re excited and grateful to be along for the ride!
Since Jesus Collective sprouted its first experimental shoots in the spring, your personal stories and affirmations have underscored the need to unite, amplify, and equip this growing Jesus-centred movement.
You’ve used words like “this is a watershed moment,” “this is so needed right now,” “I’m hungry,” and “I’m excited about what God is doing.” You’ve been positive and ‘for’ this vision, not angry and ‘against’ something else. You’ve been encouraging, insightful, constructive, peaceful, and, well… Jesusy.
So who are we hearing from, anyway? That’s what’s been so exciting. We’re hearing from pastors, churches and ministries of all shapes and sizes; from house church leaders to church planters to large churches with regional influence; from Anabaptists and those from other contexts; from Canadians and Americans (and some folks overseas, too!); from leaders hungry for peer connection, transformation, and equipping, saying “yes” to taking initial steps with Jesus Collective.
What’s beautiful is that we come from different backgrounds and different places, with different needs and gifts to offer. But we share a common desire: to unite around a truly Jesus-centric approach to life and ministry, and to see a desperately needed, peaceful, Jesus-looking Way advanced in our communities and around the world.
So, we’re going to continue partnering with God to move Jesus Collective forward one step at a time, discerning the Spirit’s leading along the way. Do we know all the answers? Absolutely not. Are there twists ahead? No doubt. But these are litmus tests for what it means to step out in faith and follow a God-sized vision. That’s why right now we’re focused on piloting activities to help build relationships and learn more about what might be most useful in the longer term, rather than racing to all the answers out of the gate. We will do our part to plant and water, but God provides the increase (1 Cor. 3). Will you join us?
In the meantime, here are some highlights to bring you up to speed and help us track together, as a collective:
Some early gauges:
– We hosted our first regional gathering outside Washington, DC in late March. Over 50 Canadian and American churches and ministries were represented, many of whom were meeting one another for the first time. God was moving in the room — we received incredibly insightful feedback and input that has already helped to shape the direction of Jesus Collective.
– To date, we’ve received almost 90 applications (and growing) from pastors and ministry leaders expressing interest in being involved in the Jesus Collective pilot in various ways. Thank you to those who have reached out and are already contributing your time and gifts!
– Over 1,000 leaders representing hundreds of churches and ministries are now tracking with us through our mailing list and via social media online.
– We’ve launched a simple microsite at jesuscollective.com to share basic info and invite people to track along with updates.
– We’ve produced a couple of useful resources, including an informational podcast and panel discussion to help people learn more and track with the vision.
So what else is happening?
Here’s a snapshot of some other pilot activity in the works for the year ahead and how you can track along or get involved:
– We’re hosting more Regional Gatherings to cast vision, build relationships, and unpack the meaning of “Jesus-centred” together. Everyone is welcome. These gatherings are a great way to learn more about Jesus Collective and meet some new like-minded friends. We continue to add new dates, so check in at jesuscollective.com/events for details and registration. And please contact us with interest in additional stops! We’re happy to consider hosting more in-person and online sessions.
– Plans are in the works to pilot our first leadership formation cohorts this fall and/or winter. These cohorts will see small groups of leaders journey together relationally over a period of weeks or months in pursuit of transformational development. Our focus will be learning how Jesus-centred theology and practices can deepen the Jesus-shaped impact on our own souls and in our churches, and exploring a hands-on approach to pastoring in post-Christian contexts. We’re thrilled to announce that Dr. Brian Ross has joined the Jesus Collective team on contract to provide design and content direction for these learning experiences! Interested? Contact email@example.com for more info or to apply.
– Our experimental series of online interactive podcasts continues with thought and practice leaders from this movement. We’re thrilled to spend time with Greg Boyd (July 31) and Danielle Strickland (Sept. 18) in our next two sessions. Look for more throughout the coming year featuring a range of contributing voices. You’ll meet others and experience real development around relevant topics impacting our churches and communities. Head to jesuscollective.com/events for details and to register.
– We’re aiming to host an inaugural Jesus Collective Partnership Gathering in Toronto on May 4th – 5th, 2020… Stay tuned for more details!
– We’re working on the first version of a Jesus Collective digital platform to help cultivate a sense of community, collaboration and resource sharing, and leadership development within Jesus Collective. We hope to invite interested leaders and churches to test this out and provide feedback in the months ahead.
– We’re live on Twitter (@jesuscollectiv), Instagram (@jesuscollective), and at jesuscollective.com. Spread the word with others you know who may be interested!
– We’re also collecting input and working on more specifics about what practical, sustainable, longer term partnership and engagement with Jesus Collective could look like beyond the pilot phase. We plan to have more specifics to share on this through 2019.
If you want to get more involved in contributing to or supporting any of the Jesus Collective pilot activity mentioned above, be sure to head here to let us know (if you haven’t already). Or you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. We’d love to hear from you!
And throughout this journey, can we join together in prayer?
Let’s pray that we hold our plans with a loose grip and invite Jesus to lead us through the Holy Spirit. Let’s pray for both wisdom and courage. Let’s pray for God to continue drawing the right people and resources together for us as a collective. And let’s pray that we may keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
So grateful to be on this journey of discovery together! Peace indeed.