Thursday, May 17, 2007

The New Thing Takes Shape

So what's going on with the church plant and our move and all?

(So glad you asked!)

Well, yesterday we had a wonderful day of prayer and meeting together with the pastor of our church and a few representatives from staff and vestry. Our friends who started the new church in Kenosha were there as well. Prior to this meeting, our pastor had discussed the church plant with the staff and with the vestry and received a unanimous message: They're all eager to support it, and they believe that doing so is a call from God.

I was at the meeting with vestry, and it was exciting to hear the words of confirmation that came from several people. Awhile back, our mobile church (we meet in a high school) had looked at a church property for sale, and two of our vestry shared similar impressions they had received from the Lord as they prayed and walked around that building. One man heard the word "Babel," looked up the story and concluded that God does not want us to be like the people of Babel, who did not want to be scattered; rather that He wants us to be willing to be scattered. Another woman prayed as she walked around that building, "It's just too big, isn't it, Lord?" And He replied, "No, it's too small; tying up your resources in it would be too limiting for what I want to do." There were also encouraging words from others with church-planting experiences who had seen God provide for both mother and daughter churches.

Our pastor also recalled a message that was given at our church several years ago, when a guest speaker had described the Antiochian church as being an equipping and sending church (it was the church that sent out Paul and Barnabas), and I had had a strong sense, which I had mentioned to him at the time, that God had placed a similar call on our church. I had nearly forgotten, but he had prayed over it at the time and recalled it now.

So with the full support of the staff and the vestry, Light of Christ in Kenosha is going to be an official "daughter" of Church of the Resurrection of Wheaton/Glen Ellyn. Rez is going to officially bless, commission and send us out on Trinity Sunday, June 3. After that, we'll be spending our Sunday mornings in Kenosha, unless we have compelling reasons not to. When we sell our house, Rez will host a little reception between services on our last Sunday in this area, and when we select a launch date for Light of Christ's public services (it's been just a core team so far), Rez will encourage folks to join us for the first 4-6 Sundays.

The staff at Rez is pledged to assist us with consulting and training of prayer ministers, children's ministers, etc.; priests from Rez will fill in for Papa Rooster if we need to be gone on a Sunday or if he needs a break from preaching every Sunday. At this point we have little need of Rez's financial assistance, but down the line, it may be available as well.

Our pastor also will ask the congregation to pray about whether any of them are called to move with us and be part of this work! He has great faith for this--and we are excited to think that God may be calling others to come alongside us!

Our friends in Kenosha are amazed and so grateful at this response from Rez. The group that met yesterday prayed for the four of us corporately and individually, and the prayers were so powerful--strengthening and encouraging us all so much.

Isn't it exciting to watch God work?!

[Stay tuned for a housing update....]


Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Waiting to hear about the housing update. Our sale is going SLOWWWWWW but I'm trying to trust God with all of this and not worry. I trust Him so much I went outside and planted more plants today (just in case we stay, and if not, the other people can have squash and cucumbers to enjoy)

Islandsparrow said...

Glad to get the update Jeanne - it's a delight to hear about the various confirmations you are receiving. I know it must give you courage to move forward. Praying for you this weekend as you look for housing.

I'm glad for your kids too - knowing that a there is a theater group in the new place will certainly make the move easier.