Our Story: The Start of a Community
Mission 614 was conceived in our hearts during a transitional time in our lives. We had stepped away from a church we served for 23 years and ended up pursuing life as a missionary. It was a major shift as we discovered a different approach to people, faith, and the lives we would live. In doing so, our hearts became so captured by this missionary approach to life and ministry we started sharing it with anyone who would pause to listen. And they did, people listened and asked questions.
We set out on this adventure with the intention to simply train others in this new approach to life and ministry and discovered something much more. And we are, that is, discipling others in a missionary approach to life and ministry. We help both the leaders of established churches as they search for ways to reignite the congregations they lead and those who have the courage to adventure into doing a new church startup from a different approach.
In this time of discovery a desire grew within us to begin a new church for people who weren’t really interested in church. At least church as they had known or perceived it to be. We had met so many who showed interest in Jesus but had little, if any, experience with a church. Others had been in church and for different reasons had dropped out; most still loved Jesus but had been disenfranchised from an organizational religious experience.
So it began as we started to form a community out of a group of people who didn’t know each other, but all knew us. They were mostly unchurched people who didn’t really understand the Gospel or the people who had tried to share it with them. We are still working with them as we bring them slowly to an understanding of Jesus and the gospel He gave us to share. Hopefully, they will become part of His church as we grow and take shape. This group was mixed with a few followers of Jesus who were testing new ideas and theories about church. They have a heart for people and want to see them have an opportunity to make a better and more informed decision concerning Christ.
This new church is a community of people interested in building three key types of relationships: UP with God, IN with one another, and OUT with the people of peace He sends us to. We want to help people know God more than any of us did before, really get to know one another as we build the bonds of friendship, and care about those who need a place to connect. We refer to these individuals as people of peace.
We are a community of “sent” people who intentionally choose to go out in search of those who are lost or have lost their way rather than wait for others to come to us. Committed to making disciples who make disciples, we focus on building the types of relationships that can forge such an idea. We just happen to think the best way to do this is by living as an extended family on mission together. Thus, we formed a community to better share the gospel with the people of peace we meet. Our heart is to really focus on the things Jesus seemed to care about, making and growing fruitful disciples (learner followers) and willing to live in the radical way it would take to bring it into reality.
The more we shared our journey the more people we found who fit this description. It was a much bigger job than we had anticipated. It not only was about a new church startup in Central Ohio, it had become about awakening the missionary heart in other followers of Jesus. We are mobilizing a missionary movement one person at a time as we share with them what the Holy Spirit has been teaching us.
You could say we are creating an extended family of missionaries who are being sent out to communities across the greater Columbus area and beyond. One thing we soon realized is with this missionary approach to life and ministry there would always need to be room for one more to join us at the family table.
They are people who …
- were skeptics and didn’t know Jesus or much about Him and could come to ask their questions while experiencing the love of Jesus as it is shared in the body of Christ.
- had disengaged from traditional church and were floating around without a place to call home and could now find a place to heal, reconnect, and be restored to the family of God.
- are sitting dormant and disconnected in a church somewhere and are looking for a group of people willing to risk everything for the cause of Jesus Christ and they can join us.
- want to get outside the organizational walls of church life, live their lives as Jesus’ sent people into the community around them, and be a part of a community committed to such an approach to life.
We wanted to start a church for people like this, so we set out to create such a family and we called it Mission 614.
Our names are David & Kandy Bennett, and this is our story.