The theme of the first night was expectations.

After meeting with the servant teams over the last couple months and reflecting on the first year as a church plant, we wanted to focus the first leadership development on clarifying expectations.

In whatever situation we are in, we carry expectations with us, and one of the central tasks of leadership is being aware of your own expectations and those you are influencing.

Each of us carries with us a set of expectations about church, leadership, discipleship, and church planting. As the home groups have been sent out to become “learners, lovers, and givers” together, it has been challenging, exciting, and at times confusing and frustrating.

We wanted to clarify what are expectations are:

1. Grow and depend on Christ
2. Be the body of Christ for each other and our world

Our central aim is not “get church righter, or better, than other churches,” but to know Christ and let Him lead our lives together to make Him known to the world around us. What we are doing is vitally important because the gospel must be embodied, we must earn the right to be heard, especially in our culture that has heard it all before.

We seek God’s face together, so we can show Him to the world through our unique gifts, interests, personalities, and lives. The world needs the church because people need the hope that God can be known and another way of life is possible. Each of us has a unique and vital role to play in God’s mission to bring healing, redemption, and transformation to our world.

We talked about the Reveal study by Willow Creek that has changed the direction of their church. The cetnral finding of the study is that the amount of activity and participation in church programs and meetings does not correlate to spiritual growth and maturity in our actions and attitudes becoming more like Christ. Spiritual maturity happens as we take the take the initiative to listen and respond to Christ in a community that we find and use our gifts to serve others and help others to do the same. Spiritual maturity has everything to do with the kind of people we are becoming in relatioship to Christ.

We read John 15, and discussed remaining in Christ becuase He has chosen us to be His friends rather than serving him out of obligation. God desires to know us as a friend for who He created us to be rather than to serve Him out of obligation or just telling us what to do. He is inviting us on a journey with Him to participate in what He is doing to redeem the world. He wants us to produce the fruit of His life if we know Him, trust Him, and remain in Him.

Any talk of leadership development, starts with knowing Christ, remaining in Christ, abiding in Christ, and knowing ourselves. All of our influence overflows out of our relationship with Him.

If you missed it, we typed up an index card with these expectations fleshed out to put in a Bible or journal.

We also typed up and clarified role expectations for the servant team leaders if you are one of those or interested in what they are responsible for.

We also watched a NOOMA by Rob Bell, entitled YOU.

The resources we discussed can help foster intimacy with Christ by learning to know ourselves and connecting with Christ according to how we are made. Not everyone experiences intimacy with Jesus in the same way.

We also threw cheeze balls on Jeff and Jason’s face that was covered in shaving cream.

Thanks again for all who participated!