Letters From The Future

There is an episode on the hit television show “The Office” where paper salesman Jim Halpert sends a fax to his former co-worker, Dwight Schrute. From time to time, Jim sends Dwight faxes…from future Dwight.

A rather gullible Dwight receives a fax that reads, “Dwight, at 8:00 a.m. today, someone poisons the coffee. Do not drink the coffee. More instructions will follow. Cordially, Future Dwight.” Dwight precedes to knock a steaming hot cup of coffee out of one of his co-worker’s hands with the pronouncement of, “You’ll thank me later.”

When Compass launched Rooted in the Winter of 2016 we could not have predicted the impact it would have on our people and our church. As we’ve grown and done session after session over the past couple of years, we’ve learned a lot that we didn’t know at the beginning. So, if Compass were to write a letter today to our 2016 selves about Rooted, here are the three things we would have said:

Prayer Is a Game Changer

Since we started Rooted, thousands of people have found community, prayed together, shared strongholds, and begun practicing sacrificial generosity in a way that has made space for the Kingdom of God to move closer. Of course, we’ve encountered spiritual opposition. The Enemy hates what is happening and has continually worked to create disunity amongst our staff. We have seen marriages struggle and sickness rise up. And we’ve felt an even greater need to pray as a staff. So, every Monday a dozen or so staff participate in a prayer experience we call Fight Club (I have just broken the first rule). We get into the arena and fight the enemy by turning to God who has already claimed victory for our staff and our church. Launching Rooted at your church will undoubtedly lead to tremendous life change and spiritual growth among your community, but it will also bring much conflict. For us, prayer has been the secret weapon to hold it all together.

Strongholds Week Is Just The Beginning 

Week 5 of Rooted is always the best and most exhausting. People share the deepest, darkest parts of their souls (maybe for the first time) and experience God’s forgiveness and love as their community leans in even more to support and encourage them. While God does set many people completely free from their strongholds in week 5, we’ve realized that for many people it is just the beginning of a much larger and much longer conversation. Rooted forced us to rethink what our Care and Support ministry looked like at Compass. We boosted our recovery programs, developed a broader partnership with a local counseling center, revamped our marriage ministries, and even hired additional staff to support these moves. Strongholds, or week 5, is just the beginning of the growth process for people, not the be-all and end-all.

People Need “Next Steps”

I once heard someone say that Rooted is not the mission, Rooted is base camp. In other words, Rooted isn’t where spiritual growth and life change reaches its pinnacle, but often where it begins. Because of this, people need to know their next step when the ten weeks are up and the celebration is over. The resounding question you will hear after Rooted ends is, “What’s next?” When we first launched, we didn’t have a good answer. Your people will want to know how to continue praying like they did during the prayer experience. Your people will want to know how to continue serving in the community. Start thinking about the “next steps” for your church before you ever hear someone ask for them.

You’ll thank me later. 

 

Rory Green is the Rooted and Teaching Pastor at Compass Christian Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex.  Rory and his wife, Brooke live in the suburbs of Ft. Worth and have a chocolate lab named Chance.  He is a graduate of Lincoln Christian University and is working on his Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Hope International University.