Next Step Champion
"So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God."- Haggai 1:14
One of the most iconic and endearing movies of all-time has to be "The Wizard of Oz". Watching Dorothy navigate an unknown and unusual path back to Kansas with her adorable dog, Toto, and three unlikely companions is a sight to behold. This feel good story of perseverance, overcoming odds, and bravery is not without some serious rough patches along the way. How difficult it was for her to "follow the yellow brick road" when confronted by spells from a witch, angry apple throwing trees, and flying monkeys along the way! Yet, none of those threats, annoyances, or obstacles kept Dorothy from reaching Oz, because she was driven by what would become the most classic words uttered in this masterpiece, "There is no place like home."
This past Sunday our church family experienced another monumental moment and resounding confirmation of the Lord's hand leading us to the promise of a new home. After many months of praying, dreaming, and seeking, it is wonderful to see the amazing open door the Lord has provided. Myself, along with the church council feel that this lease property on Towngate is the right (and best) place for our "next steps" on this journey. It is a location that keeps us CLOSE to our ministry history ( 1.3 miles from current property). It is a property that provides SPACE for our ministry needs (10,600 square feet). And it is a property that prepares us for a GREATER ministry future (room for more people and no debt). Following the presentation and after prayerful consideration, a resounding "YES" vote (98%) has positioned us not on a "yellow brick road", but to continue to follow the PERFECT PATH of the Lord. As we move forward from this pivotal point, seeking the Lord's powerful results, I am reminded of King David's words in II Samuel 22:31, "As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord's Word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him."
One of the things I have felt strongly about during this journey is that whatever property the Lord made available to us, that there would come with it "unexpected blessings and challenges". Thankfully there are no flying monkeys on the horizon, and we have a far greater companion in the Holy Spirit to guide each step, care for each need, and overcome each obstacle. As I shared on Sunday, the Lord is calling our church family to be the champion of the "NEXT STEP" and not Carl Lewis, a Long Jump gold medalist. As we continue on this holy and historic pathway, I want to remind us of a few things we desire to light our steps as we move forward towards Townsgate:
1) We are SEEKING the Lord's ANSWER for our property-
Nothing is more important than hearing the Lord's voice and obeying His will for our property search. His place is BEST and is more important than whether it seems "right" to us or whether it was our "first" option. Let's be a people that believe this truth, "God's 'yes' is better than any 'no" we thought was best." Although the Townsgate property would not have been the first property type on our radar when we began the journey, it is clear that the Lord has kept this door open and is having us walk through it at this present time.
2) We want to move with a deep sense of HUMILITY-
To me one of the most reassuring and comforting aspects of these faith steps is having a church council and family that has said, "Lord, we believe this property is your answer, but if this is not your place for us, please close the door and show us where to go." This type of positioning is a must on our pathway and mirrors the words of Moses to the Lord in Exodus 33:15, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."
3) Reaching MORE PEOPLE with God's love is our priority-
As we shared on Sunday, a "challenge" with this property is the substantial cost for the build out and having a handful of months paying rent for a facility we cannot use until it is completed. As a leadership team we have committed ourselves and are commissioned to be good stewards of the church resources, but in doing that we never want to make the finances the most important factor when making decisions. We want to be wise, we want to be practical, but more than all of that we want to be soul-winners, disciple makers, and fishers of men as Jesus commanded us to be! Any amount investment in my opinion is worth it, if it means more people experiencing God's love, being saved and joining the church family.
4) The next months are an opportunity to witness the Lord's CONFIRMATION-
With the church vote completed, we still need the Lord to confirm this property by continuing to show favor, open doors, and provide increased resources. We are now in the phase of this journey that has us working with both our city and Foursquare denomination for approvals. Please be praying that the Lord continue the work He has begun and that these steps are further evidence that Townsgate is indeed the Lord's open door for us.
Let's continue to be the "next step" champions on this faith race no matter the fears we feel, the questions we have, and the obstacles we face, because truly, "There is no place like home!"