By Daniel Im: For this month’s segment, Ed and I had the privilege of talking with Mark Jobe, Lead Pastor of New Life Community Church. New Life currently has over 20 locations in the Chicago-land area.
Replanting and Restarting
Having successfully launched 25 locations around Chicago, 14 of which were restarts, Mark Jobe knows a thing or two about how to repurpose dying churches. Mark did not begin this restarting journey by being an ambulance chaser. It all began when a dying church that was over 100 years old reached out to him in desperation. With great discernment and hope, Mark and his team stepped into what seemed to be dead and hopeless and breathed new life. Like a withering plant that needed a little extra care, they watched the church flourish under the new direction and leadership. Since then, New Life Community Church has become a beacon for church plants seeking a fresh start. Thousands have been impacted through these churches, and Mark and his team continue to develop a multiplying culture one church at a time. Mark said that they approach restarts using the G-R-A-C-E acronym.
Go Looking for God Activity
“Saving a dying church” sounds intriguing, even romantic to some, but, as Mark can attest, it is not for the faint of heart. Before they partner with any church, they earnestly seek God’s discernment of whether they should move forward. They look for God activity and divine movement.
Resist Spiritual Colonialism
Mark said that they fight spiritual colonialism, which often says, “Unless you match my brand, you don’t count.” Mark spoke into the attitude of ultimate presumption that leads to a misunderstanding of who God is and the role He plays—past, present, and future. “We act like God has never been active until our brand of Christianity showed up. We discount decades of God movement, sometimes centuries of God activity.” By taking this posture, Mark has found a deep appreciation for each church that approaches them. Rather than pitying them, Mark recognizes that God has been using this church far before they ever approached him.
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- “It is easier to birth a baby than to raise the dead.”-Peter Wagner
- “We act like God has never been active until our brand of Christianity showed up. We discount decades of God movement, sometimes centuries of God activity.”- @markjobechicago
- “We take their history, dust it off, celebrate it, and merge our history into theirs”- @markjobechicago
- “These are exciting times to be in ministry.”- @markjobechicago