Many who read this blog know full well the mission of The Chapel, which is to ensure that every man, woman, and child hears, sees, experiences and has the opportunity to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of a certain word embedded in this statement, it causes us to look in totality of all, not just in partiality to some. We are called to reach all with the gospel. This requires much and places a divine burden on us to do all we can with the entire Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to make this mission a reality. God's heart is about reaching all—every man, woman, boy and girl. "The LORD is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).
God desires to see everyone come to repentance and He has at this time chosen His Church to be His primary instrument to accomplishing His mission in the world. In order for everyone to have an opportunity for repentance, that is an ability to respond by faith to the gospel, they need to see it and hear it. This is where you and I come into the picture as part of God's redeemed.
Furthermore, to ensure everyone hears and sees it will require the geography to be saturated with the reality of the gospel. I absolutely get fired up when I run across other church leaders in WNY who understand this concept of saturation. In fact, I had the privilege to meet with two such leaders recently. The first meeting was with the new pastor of the AOG Church in Niagara Falls. His name is Jim Vigil and he has a heart to see additional expressions of the Church become a reality in WNY. His vision is to see another five churches strategically planted in WNY by the year 2020. This is awesome for we know it is going to take more churches on mission to accomplish the task and fulfill what God desires for this place. We are encouraged and excited that God brought another pastor to this area who sees the need for more churches and understands a kingdom mentality in regards to the reality that there is but one Church in WNY under the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Praise God for how He continues to move through the leadership of the local churches in WNY.
The second conversation I had was with Brek Cockrell from Renovation Church. Many of you know that Renovation was originally a church plant out of The Chapel back in the day and started as The Chapel at Elmwood. Things have changed . . . for the better. They are now a separate entity yet a strategic partner of The Chapel's in the City of Buffalo. Not surprisingly, God has birthed a vision in Brek's heart to plant an additional campus in South Buffalo. He and I have spent much time over the past couple months discussing this and even evaluating potential locations. This too, is very exciting! Again, flowing from a place whereby Brek understands that in order to fulfill the missiological commands of Scripture, the Church needs to be on mission and that means it needs to be about saturation. Saturation is about more than just mobilization, it includes an on-going presence that invades all aspects of society. Where there are people, the gospel is present in the form of a Christ-follower. In other words, the incarnational witness of Jesus Christ in the lives of His people can be found everywhere at all times. When this happens we are getting much closer to completing the task. So, in sum, God is at work and desires His Church to join Him, and the challenge is to saturate this geography with the reality of gospel. I am very thankful that we have the opportunity to work with and alongside others who understand this missional mandate.
Please be in prayer for Renovation Church under the leadership of Brek Cockrell and for AOG Niagara Falls under the leadership of Jim Vigil. God has birthed a great vision in these men—may it be so for the glory of God, the gain for His Church, and the good of WNY.