Choosing to Pivot: 10 Hinge Points for Congregations--An Introduction
Who Are FaithSoaring Churches?

What is a FaithSoaring Church?

Soaring-bird

Download FSCLC Journal What is a FaithSoaring Church 09.05.17

FaithSoaring Churches are congregations who effectively soar with faith to achieve exceptional ministry.

FaithSoaring Churches are congregations who boldly and effectively soar with faith into a future known only by God where they have never gone before, and which they cannot see at the beginning of their journey.

In greater detail, FaithSoaring Churches are congregations who effectively soar with faith beyond ordinary ministry toward extraordinary ministry in a quest to achieve exceptional ministry. They respond to the pulling of God. They journey to places of inspiration, imagination, and innovation. They progress through processes of spiritual formation and missional engagement. They continually transform their capacity to reach their full kingdom potential.

They are willing to go to the end of all known light or revelation and leap into the darkness because they know God has gone before them. Leaps of faith and extraordinary commitments are commonplace for FaithSoaring Churches. They boldly journey into the future as God reveals the pathway of their journey.

As my colleague in ministry, Leonard Sweet, has said, “To step forth in faith is by definition to step over the line.” What is beyond the line is only known by God, and thus involves continual steps of faith by the traveler.

Like Abram in Genesis 12 they gather up their possessions and go on a journey into the unknown because of their faith in God’s leadership. They are enabled to soar because of their faith response. They cannot necessarily see the future better than other congregations, but they see clearly with trusting eyes the One who sees the future and draws them toward it.

1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives, And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3 NASB)

Like the Israelites after the Exodus 13 their journey is God-led by a cloud by day and fire by night. FaithSoaring Churches see clearly, and discern thoroughly the directional signs God has place before them.

21 The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Exodus 13:21-22 NASB)

Like Gideon in the struggle with the Midianites and the Amalekites in Judges 7 the journey to become FaithSoaring is a God-size journey that cannot happen by human effort and should not result in boasting by humankind but a celebration of the glory of God.

2 The LORD said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, 'My own power has delivered me’ (Judges 7:2 NASB)

I like to refer to the challenge Gideon faced as a BHAG which I call a Big Holy Almighty Goal. This is inspired by the work of author, teacher, and consultant/coach Jim Collins who uses BHAG to refer to big, hairy audacious goals. I have translated it into biblical talk and hopefully enhanced it meaning.

Like the admonition in Isaiah 40 to wait on the Lord, mount up with wings as eagles, to run and not be faint, FaithSoaring Churches soar with wings of eagles.

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. 30 Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:28-31 NASB)

Like the journey of Jesus where by Luke chapters 8 and 9 his focus is on going to Jerusalem after a lifetime of readiness, and on preparing the disciples to carry on His ministry, FaithSoaring Churches journey in the direction of the destination for which God has prepared them. Similar to Jesus, they appear to become more aware of God’s plan for them as they journey toward the climax of their ministry experience.

1 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, (Luke 8:1 NASB)

 1 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. 3 And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. 5 And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." 6 Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (Luke 9:1-6 NASB).

Like Ananias who responded to the forceful call of God to go minister to Saul whom he considered an enemy, so FaithSoaring Churches cross barriers to minister in places and among people where they feel discomfort. As with Ananias, they ultimately realize God is already there and they are simply following His lead.

17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened (Acts 9:17-18 NASB).

Like the apostle Paul, FaithSoaring Churches venture out on a missionary journey guided by God’s Holy Spirit. They remain open to a new Macedonian call such as is recorded in Acts 16. Their life journey has a series of seasons as illustrated by at least three distinct missionary journeys by Paul.

 9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them (Acts 16:9-10 NASB).

Dialogue for Your Congregation

  1. What is the evidence that our congregation is effectively soaring with faith to achieve exceptional ministry?
  1. In what ways does our congregation boldly and effectively soar with faith into a future known only by God? Is this a risk we are taking or would be willing to take?
  1. What are some ways our congregation is on a journey of inspiration, imagination, and innovation? What is our inspiration? What type of future do we imagine that is beyond what we can currently see? What innovative methods are we using to engage in our journey?

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