Josh, David, Sarah, and I visited Kairos last night, an awesome young adult ministry sponsored by Brentwood Baptist Church here in Nashville. The worship service was a fantastic example of God-centered singing and cross-centered teaching, which is always an encouragement to us, because gospel-centered churches are few and far between even here in the Bible belt. To see a big group of mostly college students and young professionals -- more than 1/3 of which have no church background -- engaging in the exaltation of Christ and the exposition of Scripture is great cause for hope.
After the service, Pastor Mike Glenn and the Kairos team were gracious enough to meet with us and were very generous with their time. I know the exhaustion that kicks in after the adrenaline burst of preaching and leading a worship service, so the fact that they stayed for several hours afterwards to make us feel welcome and counseled was amazing.
The Element team learned a lot and were greatly encouraged. We found out we have quite a bit more in common with Kairos' philosophy and story than we realized. They shared, they listened, they encouraged. They talked about starting with 12 people and a big idea. They talked about protecting the worship culture of the community. They talked about nurturing a discipleship culture of a distinct community within a church with a very different culture.
And then they prayed for us.
This meeting came four days after my having another sit-down with Ray Ortlund, so I feel like this week God has been so good to me in putting me in the presence of experience, wisdom, and insight.
My encouragement to other pastors and leaders is to reach out to people who have been there, who are doing what you're doing and ask lots of questions and then listen, listen, listen. Warning: If you treat your church like a business, you will treat other churches like your competition.
We've already got David setting up some more meetings for us, even if just so we can create some mutually supportive friendships and partnerships.