Recently, I caught up with Kevin Joyce of Imagine Fellowship in San Antonio, Texas. I would call him the lead pastor but he actually goes by the title “Lead Life Changer”. And I would call Imagine Fellowship a church, but it’s more like A.A. And that’s what they want to do, duplicate the model that A.A. has leaned on since the 30’s to help people all over the country. A very ambitious and inspired vision that Kevin shared with me.
You see Kevin has a hunch that “God is trying to change the church model” and in conjunction with that leading, Imagine Fellowship has made a pretty amazing change to their model. In Kevin’s words:
We have decided that we are stopping our weekly Sunday service (starting the end of November). We will meet once a month to do a big community service project on Sunday, and will only have one Sunday service a month. What will we do the rest of the time? We will meet weekly in groups, serve our community in creative ways, and love God and people with all of our hearts.
They put “all the purposes of the church in groups.” A small group setting is basically their “main church” and through a discipleship process they call “1on1” new leaders are raised up. Kevin commented that “most people will share their life with one person or one couple” and it’s in these settings that real relationships are built and life is really experienced. By identifying a series of ten opportunities the 1on1 process helps people and potential leaders open up and really experience change. After this 1on1 discipleship process, the new leader is encouraged to start a new group. And just like AA, they want to have groups all over the country, not just in San Antonio. According to Kevin the vision is “less about a local church and more towards a movement.”
This past Sunday was Imagine Fellowship’s last corporate worship until January 3rd. What will their members do without a church service on Christmas? My guess: love God and people with all their hearts.
What do you think about this? Do you think that God is trying to change the church model? If so, how does the church embrace this change and prepare for the future?