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Changing the Conversation about Holiness

Jess Connolly on calling, co-leading a church, and challenging people to be more in awe of God

So out of that we said, “You know what? What we want more than members is owners.” We want people who own the mission of Gospel Community who say, “What I’m really about is the kingdom of God and seeing it advance, but in this particular phase of my life I’m about seeing that happen through Gospel Community and I believe and come under the leadership that says this is how we’re going to do that. What we want more than to call people ours is them to call our church theirs. We want them to feel like, This is mine, and I’m a part of it, and I shift it every time I show up. If you’re an owner of something you really want to see it do well, you have a vested interest in it. That’s all we really want. So we call our members owners. There’s no paperwork, there’s no signing anything. You decide if you’re an owner, and then you can call yourself an owner.

I love that you’re rethinking how to do church. The truth is, church leadership can be a difficult calling. What has been helpful to you as you co-lead your church?

Honestly, just friends. Having actual friends has been the most helpful. People ask my husband all the time, “What do you guys need from us?” Our answer is almost always the same: We just need friends. We don’t need people to tell us we’re doing it right all the time. We don’t even need high capacity leaders. We just need people to be our friends in a way that they expect us to be human and expect us to not have it together. We need people to tell us when we’re acting out and need to get with the Lord. There are so many things that, sure, would be great. I guess more money, more people, a location, all those things would be great. But if you have friends, you can do anything. And I think that’s why Jesus did such relational ministry. It’s why he wanted disciples with him in the eleventh hour. He’s like, “Please hang out with me, just stay with me right here. I might be sweating blood, but if you’ll just be beside me, that’s all I need.” So just friends. That’s been the most helpful thing in the world to me.

Amy Jackson is associate publisher of WomenLeaders.com.

October24, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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