Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)
As a congregation, I believe it is safe to say that we are about to enter the greatest Faith walk we have ever experienced.
It is so humbling to be part of this great expression of faith, and it does not escape me entirely what it has cost us to come to a point where God can trust us with greater things.
From the Antioch Church vision to the Appalachian Awakening; from leaving methodism to wandering in the wilderness the last couple months as we have been denied a place of rest; from becoming a Kaleo congregation with international roots to falling more in love with our neighbors, we have been tested and found faithful.
The Lord saw a congregation that would not quarantine from God but rather stretched our wings as a Home-based church. All this has taken much time, and a lot of pruning. The great weakness of this congregation in most of the 19 years I have been here and for many years before has been a fear to trust the Lord for finances and a fear to walk truly by faith—which requires a Congregation to not only have faith in God but also in each other.
I am going to make a major announcement Sunday that many of you have probably already figured out. But understand this is but the tip of the iceberg. The Lord is calling us to become one of the world’s major missionary centers. From training Bible Students in hearing the Word by the Spirit, to helping wounded healers (missionaries and pastors who need to rest and heal) we are beginning a season and a direction beyond anything we have known before.
Faith is a gift from God, but a people only begin to move in it as they grow to a place of maturity and a place of true unity. A Nation (Congregation) moved together by faith can literally move mountains, enter promised lands, and defeat giants.
Most of my life and ministry I had faith that was more selfish, small, and fleshly—to the point that all I could see was pastoring a really good local church—and getting my picture on the front of Charisma magazine.
Now, by Grace, I am surrounded by a people—YOU—who have caught God’s vision for a region, for an apostolic church/missionary training center, and for a movement not bound by small-mindedness and smaller vision.
Together, we are embarking on the greatest mission of our lives. We have been trained through both affliction and affection to truly Love God and each other—and to not limit what He can do.
We can get scared, or we can rally together and run this race with great endurance—eyes fixed on Jesus—with sin cast aside and a faith walk that has become a run. These will be challenging years, but the Lord did not bring us here to flounder—He brought us here to flourish like never before—as a people of faith!!!