Are We on Standby?


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One of the frustrating things that I experience on my travels is when I have to wait for a delayed flight. Sometimes I am waiting at the gate to board, but there are no signs that we are going to board soon. I have also been in situations where I am on the plane and waiting on the tarmac (the record time has been 1.5 hours so far).

The reason why these situations are frustrating for me is because I know that we are going to take off, but I just don’t know exactly when. Also, if I have an appointment that I have to make, then it makes the delay and waiting even harder.

Recently, a lot of people have been asking, “What is going on with HMCC of New York City?”

It seems like we are on standby.

Let me first tell you what we do know (try to imagine an airline agent speaking over the intercom):

1) There are various needs in NYC that we would like to meet as a church.
2) There are former HMCC-AA members who have yet to find a church home.
3) There are an increasing number of people who will be going back to NY in the future.
4) There are people who are interested in starting an HMCC church in NYC.
5) There are some people who have already been meeting together in NYC.
6) The leadership team of HMCC are praying and seeking for God’s direction.

Then, what are we waiting for? What should we do in the meantime?

1) We need to keep on praying and seeking God’s direction because we don’t want to rush things.
2) We need to keep on gathering together to establish the biblical community, which is the foundation for a church.
3) We need resources and people to help get things started.
4) We need to figure out which model of church planting (i.e. house church, traditional, a hybrid or even something completely new) we will need to go with.

With the above information, it is still leaving a lot of people confused and apprehensive, especially for the people who are currently in NYC and those who will be heading out there soon.

In particular, several specific questions came up:

• “If we are in the process of starting a church, but there is no clear target date, then what do we do about church in the meantime?”
• “Is it ok to just attend a church on Sunday and not get involved?”
• “Isn’t this contrary to what we (HMCC) believe about the importance of church and church involvement?”

My response:

• In the meantime, we will keep on meeting together in the LIFE Group format and then for Sundays attend a church where you can get fed spiritually.
• Since we have intentions of starting a church, I do not see anything wrong with attending a church on Sundays until we actually launch HMCC-NYC. Even when we were in Indonesia, before we started the international church, for a whole month and a half, we attended various churches on Sundays.
• Once again, if there was no intention of starting a church then it would be contrary to our values of church involvement; but since we have intentions of starting a church, we do not want to involve ourselves in such a way that will cause a conflict in the future.

I know that this holding pattern or standby position is not the best scenario for some people; especially for those people who need to know every detail before committing to something. All I can say to you is that we will try to give information about the church plant as soon it becomes available. It is hard to give details when even the leadership of HMCC does not have any of the details.

In fact, it is a bit frustrating for me, since I like to look ahead and strategize on how things will turn out. But God has taught me over the years that it is foolish to run ahead of God. Also, it is more fun when things are not so planned out. It teaches us how to trust in Him more.

In the midst of all that God is doing, it is exciting to know that He is bringing people who have experienced and believe in the transformation vision together. All we can say is that this is none other than the work of God; therefore we are just waiting for the time when things will “take off” – please fasten your seatbelts!

Spiritual ENTREPRENEUR, Church EQUIPPER, Leadership EDUCATOR, Ideas EXPERIMENTER & Global EXPLORER who is trying to transform lives and transform the world.
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