This week our church family took a step of faith by voting overwhelmingly to move ahead to “Make Space for Change.” I know firsthand that there were many, many people who worked hard and gave selflessly to make this campaign possible. Thank you – God was at work in your life during this process and in your service. It was so encouraging and evident that God used this time to continue the process of transformation in your lives. Well done!
I need to confess that I am a bit tired after this journey. But hear this: being tired can actually be a benefit -the benefit is that we stop, rest and reflect on what caused the weariness. This is a good thing as it has forced me to slow down and reflect on the journey of this campaign.
I believe deeply that this campaign has always been about more than just a building. We have tried to communicate that a building is a tool that helps a body of believers facilitate discipleship and build the Kingdom of God.
We’ve also known from the very beginning that God wants far more than to just provide a building. He wants to continue the process of giving us hearts that are more “God willed,” rather than “self-willed.” So, today I need to thank the Holy Spirit who continued to work in our hearts during this process and showed up in many, many ways.
A second reflection – I learned more about generosity than I could have imagined. There is no doubt that God is the true author of all generosity – and not some preacher talking people into giving. When God works and we respond to Him generosity takes place in area after area of our lives. God is generous and He is growing our generosity with our time, money, possessions and the giving of our lives to others. Thank you again for listening to the Holy Spirit!
Lastly, know that God is never done working on our collective hearts as a local church. Rather He is refocusing our hearts for something important within the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a verse that is often used on greeting cards and wall hangings that is actually read out of context and we miss the real meaning. Here is the verse: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
We usually use this verse individually hoping to discover and have an assurance of God’s will for our lives. What school should I attend or what job should I take? But hear this, Jeremiah is talking to a group of people, the “you” is plural. He was talking about the nation, a collective of people. This verse applies far more to a church than to an individual.
The second misuse of the verse is that we use it to focus on the immediate. In Jeremiah 29:10, God lays down the intent of this promise: that He will fulfill it “after seventy years are completed in Babylon.” In other words, God says, I will redeem you—after 70 years in exile.
This is certainly a far cry from our expectation of what this verse means when it talks about God’s plans to prosper us. He did have a future and a hope for Israel—but it would look far different than the Israelites ever expected.
What It Means For Us
So what does it mean for us as a church? I believe God is not just concerned with the immediate things happening within our church body, but He also has a desired “future” for our church. Remember: It took 70 years for that verse to conclude the promise to Israel.
We can be certain that the future of GREFC will continue to bring more challenges, maybe more campaigns, maybe more seasons of change as God walks ahead of us to equip us and use us for His Glory and fame.
So, God, thank you that we are not done with this journey and thank you for the future hard work that will be needed to fulfill your desires. Thank you that GREFC is at another beginning of something great that you have for your people!
Thanks again. Continue to pray. Let’s strive to deepen our unity and endeavor to walk by faith as a church family. There are exciting days ahead and God is good and loves us so much.
A bit tired…but resting in God’s goodness and faithfulness!