Thursday, December 31, 2009

Overwhelmed & Underprepared

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,


Anonymous said...

What a powerful rally cry! You have a great voice, Wally. Praying God will use you mightily in 2010.

Chris D. said...

I didn't see the carnival as a down. But all in all you hit on the head.

This has been the most interesting roller coaster ride We've been on. Going up the hills with stomachs full of nervous anticipation. Going down the hills with our stomachs in our throats. Hitting the high speed corners just wanting to throw up. All the while sitting there with our hands in the air screaming with delight. Just thinking of all the people we need to invite to join us on this ride. If experienced with the right frame of mind,this mix of emotions ultimately is a ride you can't wait to share with others.
If you are just riding the carousel get off of it. You don't know what you are missing.

Wallace D. Harrison said...

Thanks Jane! Love it Chris! And I have the carnival under clowns, not downs. It was a blast, along with all the other beautiful connection events!