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May 25, 2021

Five smooth stones, carefully selected by a future King David, to take down Goliath? Well, that story could be told here. Five loaves (served with two fish) to five thousand+ ? That story could be told here, too. So what does it mean then if not those two or a myriad of other biblical examples? Five days.

For the last five years we have been praying about when and where to start the church God spoke to me about so very long ago. In five days we will be having our first church service. It won’t be like any regular church service, though truthfully, I have no idea what to expect. Like Peter, I’m being encouraged to step out of my proverbial boat. I’m not sure what all to expect, but I’m being faithful to the calling and am preparing as much as I know how.

We’ll have some people to the house, break bread (potluck fellowship) and then break open the Bread and see what God does. I’m excited. Do I have concerns? Sure. Who wouldn’t? But I’m trusting God in the small things and hope that I never get to a place where I’m less trusting in His leading or provision.

It’s not just in the how, but the who. I’ve been specific in who I’ve asked to be part of this work. Intentional. These are people that are special to me, not already active members in a church (save a couple of folks – myself included). I asked these prayerfully to consider being part of this start. Beginings are exciting, but they’re not for the faint of heart. After the initial ‘newness’ wears off, the real work begins. And yet it’s not my work or theirs. It’s His. All He’s calling us to do is be faithful to Him and usable by Him.

This coming Sunday evening will be our first service. It won’t be traditional nor are we going to be in a traditional setting. It’s in our home (though we are casually looking for a building – it’s just not a necessity yet). Will there be music? Who knows? There won’t be “preaching” because it’s not the atmosphere for it. Those days will come, but for now it’s about discipleship. Teaching, leading, caring, loving.

We’ll have an eclectic group of people and a wide age range. The kids will stay in the room with the ‘grups’ and absorbing the Word and environgment as a family would and should. I’ve been preparing the message(s) for quite awhile and the Lord has been gently nudging me in areas where I might want to go deeper than I could or shallower than I should. He knows in advance who all will be here and His heart is to meet their needs where they are. I just want to be a usable and effective conduit of His mercy and grace. Those are the same attributes of His nature He reminds me of daily.

In many ways I’m reminded of a time when I was 13. We had just moved to the area and I went with a friend to a local public pool. After watching those jumping from the high-dive, including my neighborhood friend, Mike, I made the climb up the ladder. It was probably only about 15 foot high, but it might as well have been 50. After trembling on the inside, I managed to make the jump. It wasn’t great to watch – arms and legs aren’t supposed to flail that much, but I survived and was determined to go again. It was exhilerating even if it wasn’t much to watch. In those awkward, clumsy moments, my friends were laughing and smiling – not at me, but with me. And when this work starts all I really want is my Father to be smiling. The rest of the ‘how’ won’t seem all that important.

— Pastor Rick

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