So you may be asking, what kind of church would be called Project 938. I assure you that I have asked the same question. The one thing I always knew is that I wasn’t going to pastor a church with a “stupid name” with like a number in it. But I would like to share my story of how it has captivated my heart and why I believe that it has to be the name of our church.
I got into church planting because I believe that there is nothing more special, more influential and more important to the heart of God than the local church. I arrived here by reading about Jesus and seeing the local church at its worst and at its best. I felt that the way I could use my life to make the biggest difference in the world was to serve a movement that would repopulate our region with loving, healthy churches.
But here is the thing. People don’t trust the church anymore. In 1995, 6% of the nation considered themselves non-affiliated with a church. That went up to 15% by 2006 and in 2015, that number was 23%. I can only imagine that our region of the world and with a few more years, our area will report that number above 30% soon. But here is the thing, the interest that people have in spirituality has not diminished at all in that time period. In fact, it has stayed even. That means that people are still hungry for spiritual meaning in their lives, but the church “as they know it” isn’t on their menu. They still have the same questions that keep coming up, like a beach ball you try to hold under water, but they don’t have a place to answer the questions. Like U2, they “still haven’t found what they are looking for.”
Reflecting on that made me realize that they need hope that church can be something different than what they have moved on from. Their first impression of a church has to give them a picture that something is different, it has to be better than what they have known. The name has to give them hope that it is what they are looking for.