The church is something to be.
It is a little colony of people living under the reign of the God in the midst of a world ruled by self-interest. Surrounded on all sides, the church is always vulnerable. Yet, nestled within the church is the great hope of the world: original life offered through the death of the Christ.
In her first 5years the Cross Orlando has been singularly focused on being that colony; throwing up a canopy of the gospel and inviting weary folks to rest underneath it every week. With confidence that the affect of this weekly rest under the reign of God produces and sustains faith, she has grown into a unique and powerful gathering of people. The diversity and beauty of the collective drawn to her canopy is staggering and exciting. Arising in her ranks are entrepreneurs, artists, teachers, healers, leaders in business and justice, parents and children.
A collective with such potential requires stewardship.
The people of the Cross value story, peace, lineage and life. They serve the needs of Orlando and grow the faith of believers. They allow themselves to be known and take the time to know. They do the things they love and invite folks to join them. Together, as a colony of God’s reign, the people of the Cross have a future. To a similar colony living some time ago amidst a world that was not their home, God spoke compelling words,
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,”
It’s time we consider our future with intentionality.
It’s time for us, as the people of the Cross Orlando, to consider the reality that we are a colony of the reign of God, we carry inside ourselves the hope for the world. With this reality comes responsibility. How do we endure as a colony? What do we do with the hope we’ve been given?
God gave our people the answer some time ago: the colonies of God’s reign always build the infrastructure to thrive where they are, and plant seeds of peace and prosperity in their city.
The Cross Orlando can do that.
We’ll join with our small network of congregations in Central Florida as we imagine the best way for us to plant and build over the next five years.
We’ll welcome a new “lead disciple” to our staff.
We’ll create simple ways for people to be known and belong
We’ll open a fund to support people’s pursuit of counseling
We’ll set up a revolving fund for micro business loans to our own people
We’ll help start new churches and send missionaries
We’ll set aside funds to improve our facility, or get a new one
This may not be easy, and will require some sacrifice. It will take more planning and involvement than we’ve seen yet. But I’m convinced it’s the right next step for us. I’m convinced that God has convened our little colony to do what they’ve always done: plant and build.
It feels like such a gift to be a part of the Cross Orlando. I’m excited to see how we work together to become more ourselves in the years to come. If you are excited too; if you feel like the Cross Orlando is your church and you want to join us in this vision for the next several years. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell you the next step