Thursday, January 22, 2015

Looking Back. Looking Forward.

I remember sitting in a basement of a house south of Harrison Street. It was the night of our first small group. I invited dozens of people. Amber and I waited for them to hopefully come. We didn’t know who to expect or what to expect. Seven other couples showed up. I don’t think I knew any of them except one. Looking back, we met some of our closest friends that night. And it started a movement that would connect hundreds of people over the next seven or eight years. 

I remember our first worship experience a year or so later. It was raining outside. Before worship, we prayed for God to speak to our guests through us. I was so grateful for the dozens of people who gave so much of themselves as they served God and others. Jesus says: “I do not give to you as the world gives.” (John 14:27) Countless people have worshipping with us since that day. We have received things found only from a cross and a cup: forgiveness from our past, peace and power for today, and hope for tomorrow. 

I remember driving to the church property last fall. It was about thirty minutes before worship started. I looked up and saw big tents, lots of vehicles, and dozens of committed volunteers. It was a perfect day. We baptized a dozen people, met many of our future neighbors, and got to worship, eat, and play on the ground so many people sacrificed so much for. 

Yesterday at Tiburon golf course, around 150 of us gathered to dream about the possibilities for our property. It was the first of many steps. The architects will get busy now. The building team will keep working. We will have more congregational gatherings. More feedback. Late this summer and early the fall we will have our next WE Imagine capital campaign to raise money so we can move forward in developing our property and building our first buildings. This will be, by far, our biggest challenge to date and will take commitment and sacrifice like we have never experienced before. But you have responded to and exceeded every challenge ever given to you. I can’t wait to write a column similar to this five or ten years from now. 

I invite you to do the following over the next few critical months.

1. Pray. For our church as we move forward. For our staff. For new guests and visitors. For all of us to grow in our relationships with God and each other. 

2. Connect. Join a small group during Lent. Not forever. But for six weeks. Try it.

3. Serve. In the church and / or outside the church. Give part of yourself away.

4. Invite. Neighbors. Friends. Co-Workers. People hurt by the church. People with no interest in church. Your simple invitation can change a life.

I look forward to writing our next chapters together. 

The best is yet to come…


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