What’s your riskiest move?

“The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” – Charles Dubois

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This past summer a friend asked me what the greatest risk I had ever taken was.  I paused to think about it for a moment.  It wasn’t the time when I found the “Star Wars Deathstar” play set that my parents had hidden weeks before Christmas and took it out to play with anyways.  I don’t think it was the time that I got to fly a glider as a grade nine student.  I’m not sure that it even was the time that my safety gear came undone while hanging from a repelling platform.   I replied that the biggest risk that I had embarked on was to move my family to Orillia and start serving at this church.

Before joining the team here in Central Ontario I had the privilege to be a part of the management team of a church in the Toronto area called The Meeting House.   Over the years of leading there I had the opportunity to work with a team of incredible leaders and be involved in a highly innovative ministry context.  I am so thankful for those years.  Oddly – I have had many people since I left my role with The Meeting House ask why I would leave that and move onto anything else.   I thought I would take a moment in this post to let you in on some of the things that I see in this community that get me pumped serving here:

Gutsy Leadership – The story of three historical churches coming together is inspiring to me.  The fact that the leadership community would take that risk speaks volumes!  Many people talk about being willing to risk it all but few can point to a time in their history where they actually did take a “God sized” risk.

Other Centred – Connexus is a group of people that believe that we have the responsibility to craft irresistible environments for people to explore the teaching of Jesus regardless of their spiritual background.  The metamorphosis that we are going through is a living example of this value – being willing to risk it all for people we don’t know yet.

Jesus Focused – Imagine that – a church that’s really into Jesus!  Helping people to wrestle with the clear teaching of Jesus in their lives is a big hairy audacious goal.  The life that Jesus lived was passionate, loving, engaging and radical in so many ways.  I think we’ll spend a long time working on applying his approach to life but I am so honoured to be serving in a church that wants to ask those questions! 

I know there are more values that underpin our organization but these are ones that quickly jump out to me as real distinctives.  I look forward to seeing these values weaving through everything that we are as we move forward!

Have you read much from the book of Acts before?  It’s a book in New Testament that tells the story of the very early church.  It’s a wild ride watching the community keep with the expansion of the church as more people start following Jesus.  I feel like we are living a bit of that story in these days – looking to simply keep up with what God is already doing.  It’s a risky venture and I’m glad to along with you in it!

Rich Birch
Executive Director of Operations
Connexus Community Church

p.s. What do you appreciate about the church?  What were your first impressions when you first got connected?  Submit your comment today!

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4 Comments

  1. thebassman says, September 19, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    First off, welcome to Trinity/Connexus, Rich!

    To answer your question, first impressions were great. A dynamic speaker in Carey, great music, etc. After attending for a while, though, I still feel like an outsider. I am rarely spoken to or greeted other than by those that are put there for that purpose. The experience at each service is great, but I feel like that "next step" is still not that strong – like a good first impression with no follow up. I will be attending the GroupLink event this Saturday, so I'm sure that will help. 😉

  2. Rich Birch says, September 20, 2007 at 6:20 am

    Hello “Bassman”!

    Thanks for the warm greeting. The first couple weeks have been fantastic.

    There is no doubt that getting connected to community is a two way street. We want to craft the kind of environments where our guests feel welcome but at the same time give people have a sense of anonymity when they come to church. Coming “back to church for the first time” can be a hugely intimidating step for anyone. (I once visited a church where they made me put on a “I’m new here” button and wear it all morning . . . really . . . I’m not dreaming that.) We are left with crafting relevant environments where people are given a little bit of space to step into community at their own pace. Our responsibility is to craft clear next steps so people are attracted to get connected with the community. There is no doubt the each of us have to take initiative to get plugged into community – and I’m so glad that you are doing that into GroupLink! A great next step. We want to be warm and welcoming while at the same time not pushy and presumptuous. We’ll always be working to find the right balance. The good thing is that you can play a key role in helping us be welcoming – make sure to greet some folks this Sunday and tell them about the great stuff that happened at GroupLink!

  3. Joanne says, September 23, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    I remember coming to Trinity and being totally amazed at the powerful worship and the feeling that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were there in full force at Trinity. The speakers, the music, the programming are just so wonderful.

    Since attending Trinity, I've been very blessed to grow closer to Jesus and every time I am at Trinity for worship I always feel such a strong sense of the Spirit and the presence of God in our midst. And I've got to see lots of God in action too and his hand at work in my life and in the world around me. It has been such a great journey.

    With a heart of gratitude for the grace of
    God,

    Joanne

  4. Joanne says, September 23, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Hello Bassman, I sure hope you found a small group on Saturday at GroupLink. I found a wonderful small group right away at Trinity and that so helped me to connect. I probably would have felt rather lost without them all because I didn't know anyone either. I really hope that will make you feel more connected. God bless you!

    Joanne

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