The first 100 days of every Presidents first term sets the tone for their 4 years. We as a church have been hit hard and have come to a new reality of starting over, hence the title of this new blog series:
It has been a few weeks since I have written. Let me fill you in on the details.
We where hip deep into rebuilding Renewed Life church at our new location in Mansfield, Texas. We had partnered with a sister church. We provided some muscle to help fix up the building and they provided us some space to do the outreach ministries that are deep in our hearts.
Christmas morning I received a call that our church was on fire. Later we found out that it was arson. The person who set the fire did so because in their words “I wanted to see the reaction on their faces”.
We still had service beside the road and praised God. We have long realized we were the church and that the church was not the building. Now we were on a new adventure again. We went from “Burned to Barbeque”. Spring Creek BBQ opened up their space to us. After a week Mansfield First relocated to a Seventh Day Adventist church deeper in Mansfield. We however were and are an Arlington church. I felt we needed to stay at the BBQ till God opened a door.
I have to say this was a very hard month for the church. 2 moves in less than a few months is hard on any church and I wondered if the people would hang in there. I knew God had called us and that we had a purpose to still exist, but in todays consumer client mentality we pastors often wonder if the people we minister to will remain faithful to the church they are in.
Another sister church reached out to us and it just felt right. Arlington First saw us and said they would make space for us. So we were on the move again. It is a miracle that 3 moves in 6 months that we are still in existence much less seeing progress.
Moving forward after literally loosing everything is the quintessential idea of restarting. At the BBQ we had a small borrowed sound system and had to turn one chair over on another to make a music stand. (O, I also failed to mention that previous to this God had called away our young worship leader. In the same season months earlier God was calling back one of our previous worship leaders. He had no idea he would be stepping back in when he first started coming back to the church). Let’s just say God has a sense of humor and has timing that is perfect.
I have learned that I need to trust God. He always is 5 steps ahead of what our present circumstances are revealing to us. He is working in the hearts of His people to accomplish something greater than ourselves.
As I write this we are a few weeks into our new reality. We still have a few old things that are part of our DNA:
No Panic policy– We just learn to be flexible and keep moving forward.
Change is the only Constant at Renewed Life Church- This helps us live in a state of trust rather than comfort.
Never stop reaching out– Death is in protection. As general Patton once said “He did not like to pay for the same real estate twice.” To stop living out the great commission is to begin the slow march towards the death of your church.
As we move into our new reality we are also having to reevaluate EVERYTHING.
This honestly is an awesome place to be. If you approach this with a positive perspective then you can see the opportunities for growth. If you choose to be pessimistic then all you can see is what is wrong and solutions will always be beyond your grasp.
We have a lot of work to do. The next few post will be about this work. How we are taking a church from near death because of a steady onslaught of the enemies attacks into not just surviving but thriving.
1: Why do we exist?
I have taught for over 1 month now over Matthew 28:16-20 the Great Commission. The same passage every week, highlighting a different aspect. The key is to move from hearing to doing. We cannot do if we do not know why we exist.
We exist to be Transformed by God– This Transformation brings us back into relationship with God. This New Reality redefines Normal. What we think and felt prior, what we perceived as normal was actually a fallen mind and way of life. A life of separation from God that brought us chaos, and eventually death of our physical, mental, emotional and worst of all our spiritual selves.
I hope you will walk with me through this journey.
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