The church I pastor is moving this fall. We are moving from a school gym that we have been renting for nearly three years into a storefront in the North Denver area. This move has been seven years in planning. I didn’t start like most church planters and I didn’t have the funds most of them do. In fact, we started about 30-grand in the hole because of an old church’s debts that we inherited. It took some time to build and cast a vision that others would invest in. Many would not due to the debt we had and wondered why we would encumber ourselves. My answer? Simple. We owed our denomination the money. Not we as the church I pastored but we as a body of believers to honor the contract of another and to see to it that the ones who invested in the facility were paid as they were promised. I like to think of it as integrity.
In short, God blessed and we retired the old debt. We fixed up the old church building that was in debt and we sold it to give us seed money to move to the school. The building we had was too small and the city would not allow us to build onto it so we were forced to leave. The money we invested after the sale is what is allowing us to launch this fall/winter in our new storefront as I envisioned seven years ago. I’m exhausted, excited, and a bit stressed about what our future holds. I know God is in this but still, so many years and so much of the roller coaster church planters know all so well. It’s normal. The excitement I have for what God will do through this new facility brings hope to every decision I make. I’ve learned much about patience in the years we’ve been here. As I read the blogs of so many other planters and I hear about how they are “blowing the roof off” and “hittin’ it outta the park” and all the other phrases that are used, I wondered if I was doing right in my own venture. God has confirmed it again and again. As I stated in this post, numbers are worthless when it comes to measuring church health. I’ve had church planting friends have three times the folks I have and their churches are closed now. That’s not good but it shows that church health and a sense of community in our cogregations are not brought about by many. That’s not to say we don’t want to see new people and grow. We most certainly do but what kind of growth are we after? Growing leaders to manage the unchurched that will come through our doors in the future is another issue of patience I’ve learned. We are getting there and I’m pleased with our results.
Continue to pray for us if you are so inclined. The most exciting days of our ministry lie ahead and I’d love to share the adventure with you.