This weekend was a great one - cool stories of life change and a chance to continue to talk about where we are headed as a community alongside some important lessons from Nehemiah, a Jewish leader who let God break his heart over the condition of His people.
After one of our services somebody who has basically been at our church her entire life and is now a student in High School approached me and asked, “Why do you always talk about our vision?” She wasn’t asking it as someone who was skeptical or frustrated but genuinely interested in knowing why since, to her, she was in and didn't need to hear it all the time. We talked for a few minutes and in the moment I’m sure my response was completely forgettable but the question has stuck with me over the last day more than usual.
We have a pretty passionate vision as a community. We long to be a place where people who have walked away from church or faith because what they heard wasn’t helpful or what they experienced was hurtful can experience that Jesus makes life better. We are committed to lowering any barriers possible for people returning to faith and for people wanting to walk closer to Jesus. That means we are constantly talking about people close to us and far from God as well as challenging followers of Jesus to consider their next step - our faith isn’t static, or at least it shouldn’t be.
We live in a community where more than 90% of people don’t go to church, most of them used to, but it just wasn’t helping, or worse, it was hurting. I can’t imagine being a church or a leader that ignored that reality and allowed unnecessary barriers to block people from walking closer with Jesus or following Him at all!
So why do we talk about vision so much? Because we’re forgetful, because vision leaks and because it’s good for our souls to be reminded of the movement that God longs for people to make in walking towards and ultimately with Him.
This weekend we will commit as a community to the next two years of this vision and this is not just a ‘vote of confidence’ kind of thing but people will be investing literally into the lives of their neighbors, classmates, teammates, coworkers, kids and grandkids as well as thousands they may never know.
This weekend we’ll finish the story of Nehemiah and the greatest lesson we can learn is that when God breaks our heart over something it’s because He wants to take over something in the world that needs restoration. Don’t run from the heartbreaking reality of our world, run to it with the hope and help of a God who loves everyone and gave all of us a path back to Himself!
One last thing, after another service this weekend we had a couple ladies come up to be prayed for. The lady who was in need of it is going through some challenging things this week and an amazing leader in our church told her to come up for prayer - it was like she wasn’t sure if it was ok. The barriers are easy to forget about for someone like this lady who have been burned by church in the past but we’re going to keep taking them down and trusting God to show up.
Would you pray this week and we prepare for this milestone?