Moving To a Second Service: For the Glory of God and His Kingdom
For over a year we have prayed and talked, gone through a time of prayer and fasting, have seen the Lord work in wonderful ways, and now, as we approach the latter part of summer, we are in a season of preparing to go to our second worship service and Bible Study hour. Our second service and study will launch on September 10, 2017. That time will arrive rather quickly!
It is an exciting time! It is also a time in which we find our faith stretched and tested. Change is challenging in and of itself. Stepping out in faith (and out of our comfort zones), can be a bit frightening as well if we are honest.
The thing that is helpful as we prepare to move in this direction is to remember the 'why's' of this move.
1) First, we have affirmed that this move has nothing to do with us (any of us) or our 'brand,' or our church 'fame' or 'reputation,' or how we are perceived by the public. This move is rooted in our sense of doing all that we do for the glory of God. This move is for His glory, not our own.
2) Second, we have been through an extensive season of prayer, discussion, fasting and preparation. We know that our church has been placed where we are by God, in His Sovereignty, for 'such a time as this' as the communities come to us and will soon surround us, and that certaianly includes Harlan High School opening literally across the street from us.
3) Third, we affirm that God has called us to be a 'church in the community, for the communities and the world.' We have been blessed to see how the Lord has opened up doors for us with our missionaries in Brazil who minister to an unreached people group along the Amazon River. We have seen how the Lord has provided opportunities for us to be mentors in our public schools, and we have seen how the Lord has provided that we might have our own campus missionary to area public schools. God is Good! In all of this, it is also evident that unless we provide a second service, we are thoroughly limited by the space we have in terms of what we can do to reach people. Parking is at capacity and we are, more often that not, 80% full on Sundays. To reach more people, we will need to have a second service and study.
4) Fourth, we realize that this is an opportunity for us all to grow in our relationship with God and one another as we journey together in faith to be a part of Christ's missionary enterprise. To stay the same and focus on ourselves is easy. This is what many Christians and churches do. However, to grow, to be stretched, for the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom, is the highest of privileges and in that journey, we will learn more of what it means to follow Jesus and be the church.
It has been, and is, a blessing to see you all working together, stepping up to volunteer (some doing double duty!), committing to serve and attend, pray and give, invite and do what is necessary to bless and move forward.
We do not know what the future will hold, the adventures, victories and yes, trials and challenges, we will face-everything about the future from our perspective is unknowable. Only God knows what He has planned. Whether we play it safe or step out in faith, we will face adversity and challenges. That said, if we play it safe and stay as we are, we will miss out on the greatest of adventures and faith building journeys! Our Savior calls us forward!
In the days and weeks ahead, you'll receive more communications from Sunday school teachers, deacons, ministry leaders as we continue to move forward in preparation to 'launch.' Please continue in prayer.
It is an honor to journey with you!
Grace and Peace,