Illumine has always existed to help start more churches, because more churches (should) make more disciples. In planning documents, the focus has been on the number 50: whenever Illumine reaches 50 member families, a few of those families get asked to take the leap and start a church in another location.
At the moment, there are about 35 member families, and there are a few more in our membership course. If things keep going at the rate they are now, 50 families could be here pretty quickly. That's exciting.
It also brings a few concerns to mind. How can a church of 50 families (maybe 150 people) afford to have people go and focus on another place? Every family and individual who gets involved at Illumine is essential, valuable, and important to everyone else. So is it wise to split up a family like that? On a more practical note, can Illumine afford to have that kind of flux occur in membership and still maintain the ministry efforts at the level everyone would like?
Those questions definitely won't get answered in a single blog post (and that's definitely not the point of this one,) but let's start here: at what point could Illumine be sure? There will always be ways to grow and expand Rock Hill's ministry. Things could always be more secure. But at what expense? More churches can make more disciples than fewer churches. At the end of the day, even though it isn't about numbers in general, there are two numbers that matter: the total number of people who are in God's family versus the total number of people who aren't.
Whatever decisions we make, whatever calculations and specifications lead to those decisions, let's remind ourselves that those two numbers matter most.
Matthew 28:19 | Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
- Pastor Kent Reeder