Those two words holding hands can lead to many a sleepless night, I can attest. As 2009 comes to a close and 2010 rolls in, I reflect on the year in urban church planting. Ecclesia had one crazy year with ups, downs, frowns and clowns. The ups, we merged with another church as a way of growing stronger and looking to make a larger impact. The downs, we merged with another church and watched people jump ship faster than those falling from the Titanic. The frowns, many of those people were friends and people we thought we would journey with for many years and experience God together. The clowns, we had an amazing kids carnival this past summer, as well as many other wonderful events, filled with laughter and people connecting and finding God in the midst of some goofy people!
I think it can be summed up with most of us feeling overwhelmed and under prepared. The need, in the neighborhood and Muskegon as a whole, is so great. The vast majority of the people that gather with us and call Ecclesia home, well, are a bit under prepared for the task at hand. To be honest I'm not sure you can be fully prepared, but we'll take all the creativity and helping hands we can get. In part, we have a small group of people who come from relative comfort and suburban church life. And then we have many more people who come from little, in terms of resources and development in the faith, and they are hungry for bread and the bread of life. This collision has left us feeling, yep, overwhelmed and under prepared.
So for 2010, we are desperate for God to hold us, power us, and lead us to be a new kind of people. We need the awesome Creator to unleash in us a creativity that ignites a people to know and love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. We don't need relevance, we need God's presence to create a new culture that changes lives with awe and wonder. As it's been said, relevance means someone else has been there and done that and we are just trying to keep up. No, we need God sized creativity to invite people into serving and loving those who have been set aside, left out, and put down. May we be a church where people can belong, believe, and become all that God has designed them to be.
It won't be easy, but it will be exciting and fulfilling. Come and worship with us, serve with us, and participate in God's kingdom moving in Muskegon, Michigan. We'd sure love you joining hands with us becoming the hands and feet of Jesus here as Ecclesia.
With Grace & Peace,