Isaiah 43:19 NLT
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
I stood in a friend’s backyard in August of 2006 and shared this verse with a group of people who were set on starting a new church in our community. That church has grown into The Community Fellowship. All along this journey we have experienced life, dealt with many hurdles, had lots of successes and celebrations, offered a helping hand time and time again, and we’ve seen God change many lives.
The journey really has been amazing as well as eye opening. We’ve met lots of people along the way that have influenced our lives and impacted the church. I could name lots of them, but what I know is that each of them has been a gift from God.
Also along the journey we have found lots of resources. This includes money, buildings, projects, programs, and much more. Yet the most important part of this journey has been the people we have dealt with and those who have become family.
I have been saying the same truth since we began. People are more important than anything else. If we really believe that, then our budgets and our programs have to reflect that truth. Too often churches and organizations lose sight of what matters and allow the flow of money or of success to determine their direction. That means we have to examine what we are doing and why we do it often.
You most likely know that our church family is in the middle of seeking to buy a piece of property that will allow us to grow in many ways and to impact many more people. But with the size of this project and all it’s needs the opportunity to get sidetracked, bogged down, and even to forget what is most important could easily happen. I look at the building and it’s possibilities, and I get more excited. But I also begin to dream of even more ways that people can and must be our focus.
What will a new building do for us? It will allow us to hold more people for worship and other activities. It will allow us to expand the ministries and the size of the ministries that we offer. It will allow us to partner with people who we will help and will help us. Notice that all three of those things are about people. And much more.
Examine one more time the verse I shared above. The pathway and the river have everything to do with the people who will come along the path where they are. God doesn’t do things or preform miracles just to make our world a cool place. No, God has a plan, and His plan includes loving people all along the way.
God’s plan for The Community Fellowship church family, God’s plan for my family and me, God’s plan for you includes people. Lots of people. I am determined to make sure that I keep my eyes clear, my mind and heart open, and my pursuit of God real so that others can see God clearly, have their hearts changed by Him, and begin to pursue God in fresh, exciting ways. God has begun something new. Can you see it?
Matthew 7:13-14 NLT
You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.