It’s amazing how God can “show up” anywhere. Even while eating a Fajita Ranchera Burrito at Qdoba. Let me explain…
Yesterday I had lunch with Beau McCarthy – lead pastor of Genesis: The Church in Royal Oak. I’ve known Beau for a decade and I am filled up every time I hang out with him. It was about a year since the last time we got together.
So Beau and I are eating our burritos at Qdoba and we start talking about how things are going at Genesis and at The Vineyard. A sidenote…over the past several years I have had conversations with many lead pastors and here is something I have learned. Whenever anybody asks a pastor, “How are things going at your church?” it is a much more complicated question than it sounds. Because at any given time at any given church there are awesome things that God is doing as well as things that are causing headaches. There are highs and there are lows. That’s just the way it is.
So Beau asks me that question — “How are things going at The Eastside Vineyard?” — and for some reason all of the things that are causing me headaches popped into my mind. It was as if the “Spirit of Eeyore” from Winnie the Pooh overcame me!!!
But before I started answering Beau’s question, he changed it. He said, “Tell me some stories of God’s faithfulness at your church.”
The prophet Jeremiah wrote: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:23 (ESV) And there is that classic hymn where we sing “Great is thy faithfulness.”
But how often do we celebrate God’s faithfulness? How often do we remember it?
By asking me that question at lunch yesterday, Beau gave me a gift. He forced me to recall the ways God has been faithful to me and to our church over the past year. And it was an awesome conversation. A few highlights from it:
–I shared how one year ago this week — September 8, 2010 to be exact — Kellie and I did our Church Planting Assessment. This was a huge “gate” we needed to pass through in order to be released and approved by the Vineyard USA to plant a church. It is absolutely crazy to think that exactly one year ago we were still DREAMING of planting a church and since that time our dream has become reality.
–I shared how our planned launch date of the church was going to be 3 weeks from now — September 25, 2011 — but instead God pulled ahead our launch by 7 months (we launched on February 20, 2011) — and He has blessed us every step of the way. A sidenote: I had totally forgotten about this timeline. It came to mind as I was sharing with Beau.
–I shared how much Heritage Church has blessed us by opening their doors to us, allowing their building to become our church on Sunday nights since our pre-launch in October 2010.
–I shared how God led us to our new home starting in October — Shelby Junior High — and provided enough finances for us to pay cash for the first six months of rent.
And I told him a dozen more stories of God’s faithfulness. But I’ll stop here for now.
Yesterday Beau gave me a gift. He forced me to recall the ways God has been faithful to me and to our church over the past year. Now I want to give you that same gift. How has God been faithful to you?
***Join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. Ten years ago the unthinkable happened in our country.This Sunday we’ll be remembering 9/11 as we continue our series in the gospel of Matthew. In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus says “Do not worry…” which is something hard to do on most days but practically impossible on a day like September 11th. I plan to dive deep into what Jesus said and apply His words while living in the reality of a post-9/11 America. Sunday. September 11th. 6pm. More info at tevchurch.org***