Gospel Advancement? Absolutely!
I am not a martyr. We have not suffered. We are a privileged people.
I felt the need to clear the air at the outset of this conversation. Many have given much for the sake of Christ. We are among the most privileged to live in such a time where Christians can gather openly and worship King Jesus without fear of threat, at least in our part of this country.
However, we have experienced a new chapter in the brief history of our young faith family. Our city officials have asked our church to cease weekend gatherings in our current facility due to parking congestion that has occurred on Sunday mornings when a growing congregation shares space with a youth baseball complex. We are not angry. We love our city. We also understand that our city has hopes and dreams. Our dream is that our dreams can one day coincide. Until then, we have to trust that God knows what we need better than we do.
With that said, City Church is currently homeless. Wait. That's not entirely true. The church is and has always been the people who have decided to make Jesus the King of their lives and have decided to follow him together. So, by definition, we are not homeless. All of our people have beds covered by a roof. However, we do not currently have weekend access to a space that is large enough to allow us to worship Jesus together. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many Christian groups have thrived under such circumstances. It could even be argued that this is the ideal context for a Christian community to flourish. Although City Church is structured to function without the presence of a weekly corporate gathering through weekly rhythms of missional communities doing life together (which we call City Groups), I actually enjoy gathering with my faith family on Sundays. We have seen God do tremendous things on many weekends. There's really not anything that is super-spiritual about Sunday as opposed to the rest of the week, but there is something supernatural about a group of people singing songs of Gospel hope and restoration and opening up the Holy Scriptures as family. As a matter of fact, just this past Sunday, a young family trapped in sexual promiscuity was restored through Jesus. Those are the stories that drive me. Stories like that bring tears to my eyes when they cross my mind.
This is why we value the weekend gathering. We are going to work like crazy in an attempt to procure a facility in which to hold a worship gathering next week. At the same time, we are going to rest knowing that God is Sovereign and will provide what we need at precisely the time when we need it. Thank you for taking the time to enter into this journey with us.
If you can help this family find a space to gather inside the city of Conway, let me know, and I will personally treat you to a steak dinner at Mike's Place in downtown Conway. I would be honored. If such assistance is beyond your means, would you take a moment and ask our loving Heavenly Father to shine a bit of favor on our situation? Either way, we are content. We know that our hope has never been provided through brick and mortar, but rather through wood and nails.