Heartland Think Tank

I was thinking today that it’s time for an update from the Heartland Think Tank, but for many readers it’s probably important to clarify what this is. The Heartland Think Tank is a unique kind of church meeting that invites people at our church, Heartland Worship Center, to brainstorm Kingdom ideas. It represents the heart of Christ to be world changers at a personal level. Think Tank people are trying to figure out where God wants us to go, and so we wrestle with the common concerns that our members perceive. We spent our first two meetings simply coming up with broad topics. Here is the list we developed of needs to address:

  1. Preparing For The Future
  2. Countering The Anti-God Culture
  3. Developing Employment Opportunity
  4. Fostering Christian Unity

Strangely enough, our discussions produced results. I was surprised as I thought about it because I was feeling a little guilty that we hadn’t done more. However, the Think Tank was meant to spark ideas rather than implement programs. We’ve actually inspired a few people to do things beyond the Think Tank environment. Here’s a quick recap.

– We now have a thriving prepper group at Heartland, although I’m forbidden from recognizing them by name since preppers like to fly under the radar.  Preppers meet to share experiences in such areas as emergency supplies, alternative energy, communications equipment and procedures, living off the land, and long-term strategies. The preppers are no longer a Think Tank idea. They have branched out on their own, developing and sharing plans for an uncertain future, and they will make all of our community stronger and safer when natural or man-made trouble comes.

– An off-shoot of the prepper group became know as Sustainable Living which spawned two movements. Lots of Heartlanders embarked in learning about gardening at home and getting together to share “how-to” experience. Some are raising chickens and other farm animals. Others became interested in replacing their reliance on commercial products with home-made, so we now have a thriving group learning to knit and crochet.

– We also have individuals active in engaging the culture. That seems to be my specialty. CreationXpo produces 60-second radio messages played on local radio addressing Biblical worldview concepts in science, politics, and matters of faith. Those message are intended to inspire action. I recently volunteered to work for the Convention Of States project to encourage Missouri legislators to call for a national constitutional convention to resolve the excesses of politicians. Aren’t you tired of politics? The Convention of States project at its heart is an effort to resolve arguments by implementing decision.

– The effort to develop employment opportunity at Lake of the Ozarks primarily encouraged individuals to explore independent business ventures. Some are trying multi-level marketing (MLM) in companies like Team National, Isagenix, Truevision, and Youngevity. Others are looking into more traditional small business ventures. I regret that we’ve taken such a fragmented approach instead of identifying a community-building enterprise, but at least we have individuals trying new occupations.

– And that of course brings me to the issue of unity. What should be more natural for Christians than unity and community? Nevertheless, much of what I’ve written about so far involves individuals going off in individual or small-group directions.  We’ve produced little in the way of a church-wide phenomenon of unity. There are two sources of disunity for Christians. The first is intellectual, based in our diverse ideas about right-living as expressed in our doctrines and theology. The second is more perplexing, rooted in indifference. We don’t like to think of ourselves this way, but we really are too busy with our own lives to nurture strong relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The summary of this update then is that the two issues of preparing for the future and countering the anti-God culture have grown beyond the province of the Think Tank. They’re our success stories. Business opportunity and Christian unity remain unresolved and will be our focus moving forward. Both of these issues are rooted in the need for common purpose, and Jesus made clear our call to unity. His words were expressed in John 17 praying to the Father:

I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.