I get inspiration from many sources to do the work of church planting and I was reminded of one of my favorite reasons to plant last night: Shrinking Philadelphia!
(Our metro! I want everyone on this map to meet Circle of Hope. NBD.)
I don’t literally want to shrink Philly of course because I love the sprawling expanses of our city — even the places I don’t normally go or haven’t been to yet. What I mean is that every time we plant a cell, or congregation, we discover that we’re more connected to the people around us than we realized. We discover that this city is just a village on a large scale. I’m from a small town so I’m all for shrinking this metro area of six million down to village size.
A few months ago, Julie and I went on a prayer walk in East Falls. We were praying to meet some people in that neighborhood and make some connections there. It turns out that now I have a cell right on one of the streets where we prayed. Prayer changes things.
Last night, my new cell host, Breezy, came to the cell leader training. She’s in the bottom right of the picture above. In case you don’t know, the cell leaders and hosts get together monthly to encourage each other in leading cells and welcoming new people into our cells. As soon as we sat down, I saw Breezy wave at someone across the room. It was her classmate Grace from college. Shrinking. Then we broke off into pairs to talk about who we’re thinking about inviting to our cells. Breezy got paired with my cousin Bethany who’s also a cell leader. Bethany mentioned a name that she wanted to invite. Breezy said, “I know this is weird but I think I know her.” It turns out they have a mutual friend. Breezy and Bethany met for the first time last night, mind you. Love it! Let’s shrink Philly together! We’re doing that tonight in my cell! I’d love to see you there: firstname.lastname@example.org.