One month from today we launch Pine Hills City Church.
It's a little hard to believe that we are just one month away from the beginning of a brand new church on the south side of Fort Wayne. This has been quite the journey for me and my family over the last year or so. We quit jobs, sold our house, got pregnant, raised funds, moved out of state, moved into a new house, partnered up with an amazing church, met tons of new people, explored communities, identified a target community, developed a launch team, engaged the community, prayed a ton, and learned a lot in the process.
Recently someone asked me what church planting is like. I said, "it has been the most faith-building and faith-demanding experience of my entire life." God has grown my faith tremendously over the last year, but he has also required me to act on that faith every step of the way. It's not like God grew my faith, my trust, and my confidence in him and then let me keep it in some sort of internal storage bank. The church planting journey has continually required me to use the faith God has given me, to put it into action. In the book of James we are told that faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. I have grown to understand this verse in a new way over the last year. The reason why God gives us faith is so that we can use it. It's meaningless to have a bunch of faith if you aren't going to use it. On the other hand, when faith is followed by action, it comes alive, and it grows!
This Saturday we are having our first ever Fall Fest. It's an outreach event where we get to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the community where we are planting this church. We handed out thousands of invites. We have a ton of fun activities planned. We are spending a decent amount of money on the event. Yet we have no idea what to expect. We could have nobody show up or we could have a thousand people show up. Ultimately, that's in God's hands. We are simply stepping out in faith, and trusting that God will do what we can't. In Matthew chapter 9, Jesus tells his disciples that the harvest is plentiful. Then he says, "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." There are two things that stand out to me about that passage. The first is that the harvest is plentiful. There are so many people who need Jesus. The second is that God is the Lord of the harvest. That means that it is up to him, not us, to draw people to himself. As we go out as workers in his harvest field, we will be faithful to whoever he brings this Saturday. This is just another example where we must act on the faith God has given us. I can't wait to see what happens!
Another area where we've really had to act in faith is with a location for our new church. We've been searching for months for a location in our target community. At one point I pulled up google earth and looked over every block in the community. We've met with countless people, explored so many different facilities, and ran into a lot of dead ends. There were some spaces that were available, but simply wouldn't work for what we needed. There were other places that would work, but were out of our budget, and there were other places that were available and would meet our needs, but didn't pan out for various reasons. As we've grown closer to our launch date, there has been more pressure to find a location, yet again God has grown my faith and trust in him. We knew he led us to this community, so we knew he would open a door for the right place for us to meet. Here's the good news. As of this week, we have secured a location ... and we'll be announcing that location this weekend! Sorry to leave you on a cliffhanger, but I'll post another blog soon with the details on our location.
So here we are, one month away from our launch Sunday, and I can't even begin to fathom what God is going to do in and through this new church. I look forward to the day when I get to look back at these blog posts and be reminded of how far God has taken us on this journey of faith. I mean, if God can do this much before we even start, then how much more will he do in the days and months and years ahead. I truly believe the best is yet to come!