We really like Jesus. Most people do.
Jesus brought with him a hope so inciting that it drew all types of sinners to repentance. His plan, as perfect as his person, included the participation of his people. The Holy Spirit is at work in his people, and as we become more and more like Jesus, we should draw the responses of Jesus.
We want to be part of His Kingdom more than we want to build our own kingdom.
We discovered a problem we could no longer move past- the institution.
Jesus wasn't part of one, he didn't build one, and he didn't order any to be made. But somehow, we spent hours every week propping up the institution. What about the Church? Not the church building and its members down the street- that is a congregation. What about the Kingdom of God? When did serving God start to look so different from being like Jesus?
This was a big deal.
Experienced Christians were filled with advice on accepting the brokenness and disfunction found in organized congregations (what we call institutions, for ease of understanding) because "we're all sinners". As tithe money decreased along with membership numbers, discipleship classes increased. More hours were spent getting everyone to believe right. But perhaps, the repentance required for self-serving faith is not more teaching, but less. Teaching is great, but if the problem is a lack of missional living, the 180 needed is to go, to be, to live on mission. You don't have to "leave your church" to do this, but maybe you can. Most importantly: if God is convicting you, act on that conviction, not on obligations to the way you have always been told to act.
As we began to pray about the disconnect between Kingdom living and institution politics, God placed in our lives more and more disciples who saw the same darkness. There is a movement of committed followers of Christ, not giving up on the Church, but letting go of what man has built into the culture of churches. Reform seems to be on the horizon, and we decided it is worth the risk!
We started asking "What if?"