Life is (kind of) like a drive down Pacific Coast Highway. Life is exploring what is going on. It is meant to be a journey not just about the end result or landing on a calling. When driving from Northern California to Southern California there are two different routes: down Highway 5 or down Highway 101. Highway 5 is a direct route through Central California but in many ways is very straight with miles of orchards and crops. It can be a boring drive but is direct when you need to get from point A to point B. Then there is Highway 101 that takes you down the coast. It is a beautiful view filled with many places to stop and just take in the beauty. This drive would be the ideal time to have a convertible with the top down and just a great playlist. Although the drive is two hours longer, the drive is half the fun as getting to the destination. If the driver blew a tire going down Highway 5 they would probably become annoyed and irritated. They are worried about getting to their final destination and does not want a small detour to get in the way. While if the driver going down Pacific Coast Highway blew a tire, although they may be irritated by the new hassle keeping them from the drive. They would use this detour as an excuse to go to a new restaurant for lunch or find a hidden spot that is unknown to tourists. Just like a drive to Southern California, in life there will be mess ups and detours along the way. Following Jesus was never called easy. There will be fatigue, oppression, and even desire to just to turn around and walk away. But like a drive down Pacific Coast Highway, in life I should not place too much stress on a destination and forget about the journey along the way. I too easily can be like the person driving down Highway 5 that is worried about just finding my calling or focusing on the end results, but I should be like the person driving down Highway 101 that is enjoying the drive along the way as much as the final destination.
Church planting is (kind of) like Marketing. I have been learning that God has placed my love for business and passion in studying marketing to glorify Him. I have learned that with these gifts I can minister to people in the secular world during work hours. Despite where God calls me to full-time ministry or working for a large corporation, I know that I will be serving at my church whether on payroll or as a volunteer. Ministry is just as important to me as a full-time pastor at my church. I enjoyed when Marty went through the steps it takes to start a church planting movement. IT got me pumped because I realized that the steps to plant a church is very similar to a marketing plan, which makes sense because essentially a church is marketing Jesus to others. In a marketing plan you have to start with a mission statement, and for a church they focus on their core values to make a mission statement. The next step is to create a vision for the church, which is essentially similar to the objectives that a business would have to grow their business. While a businesses objective is always about long-term growth and profits. A church’s vision would include long-term goals to address the needs and become a lasting place for people to grow. The next step is to create strategies and systems to implement the vision. For a business they call this the marketing strategy. This has two parts: target marketing strategy and marketing mix. Just like for a business picks a target group to sell their product to, the church needs to pick a target group. Although a church is for ALL people, a church may find a need for people who never grew up in the church or people who have a negative connotation of church. Also a church could focus on an excellent children’s program because of the need for a safe environment for children to come to each week. Next comes the marketing mix, or in marketing we call it the 4Ps: price, promotion, place, and product. Although, this does not relate in many ways to a church it does at the same time. Now the details must come to get this church plant from an idea to reality. You must pick a name, find a pastor, pick a location and building, and how to promote this church to the community, maybe an Easter Bunny like Marty does or through serving throughout the community.
Through this process I got so energized and pumped. I realized that God may have called me to a marketing major and given me these specific gifts and passions so that one day I can plant a church or help in the process that it takes to plant a church. This week has showed me new ways that I can serve Christ and follow His call to bring His name to the ends of the Earth in ways than I never imagined myself to be a part of.