Yesterday marked seven years that The Community Fellowship has been alive. That day marked a new era, new challenges and the beginning of a new church here in our community as a group of people found common ground and desired to meet needs. Over the next four months there was planning, sharing and lots of praying as we set the direction of this new church.
Looking back I am overwhelmed with things God has done and the places we have been. Lives have been changed by the grace of God, and the events of the past are only a small glimpse of the great things that will happen in the next seven years and beyond.
Here is a verse I shared at one of our first meetings:
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.
Something new was more than we understood. That first meeting or worship service took place at Main Street Grocery in the metropolis of Bassett, Virginia as storeowner Meredith Spencer, Cindy DeOms’ mother, loaned us her place on that Friday night. 70 people gathered to share a meal, worship together and to set the coarse we desired the new church to go.
That night I shared the vision that God had called us to demonstrate the love of God to our community by serving people and meeting needs with no strings attached. We’ve done that. It has been an awesome ride to this point. Thousands of lives have been touched, and in fact the year 2012 allowed us to serve over 6,000 people in various ways. We further believe that God is preparing us for even more.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
It is not that we take on a different role or wear different clothes when we are with different people. It is that we were to and have met people where they are and seek to win the right to tell them what God has done in our lives. Every step and every person we have met offered us the opportunity to find common ground, and one of the best ways is simply to be honest about our story. Each of us has issues, has been through struggles, has doubted and done things we are not proud of. Yet God has worked in our lives, and He will use our stories to help others see God and what He can do in their lives.
It all began with the reality that our enemy is a liar and trying to defeat us. But Jesus’ plan is to give us good life. That is a life that is full of meaning, marked with purpose and strength that comes from someone better than us, someone super human. And that is just who Jesus is.
John 10:10 NLT
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
In the next couple months at The Community Fellowship we will examine our past, re-grasp our core values and plan to do even more in the future. I invite you to join us to take the next steps forward. That includes preparing our new campus for our move in the year to come. Join in, and happy seventh birthday to The Community Fellowship!