I am writing this on Tuesday, May 5th, still overwhelmed by Sunday’s Worship service and the amazing grace God has shown this congregation. Consider this:
So many American church goers have little or no frame of reference beyond Sunday morning “go to church” meetings.
Many are more connected physically and emotionally — and even spiritually — to a church building than they are to the Groom as His Bride…
Many rural American Churches remain under lockdown, closed with the church family scattered and separated, not because there is much or any Covid 19 activity in their area, but rather because these rules come down from leaders who live in urban areas, blind to needs of much of the church.
Many local congregations belong to national denominations that increasingly reject Biblical Christianity in favor of a liberal political agenda. The pain of supporting an institution that has little in common with the local church is sucking the vitality out of many congregations, all of which has been exasperated by this current forced shutdown…
But look what the Lord has done for us! Over 20-plus years of openness to the Holy Spirit and a willingness to look more like the early Church (Book of Acts and early Methodist) than a sleepy county-seat church, we came to a place — exactly one year ago today — to move forward in a momentous way! Consider this:
The Lord led us to find a way (Wesleyan Class Meetings) of doing House-to-House Church that builds deep community and allows the Holy Spirit room to expose and heal. Can you imagine what a mess we would be right now if we had not been able to meet in small groups during the past 7 weeks? We did not miss a beat with Sundays closed down because we are a church OF Life Groups, not a church with Life Groups – or worst of all, a church with nothing but a building to “unite…”
Unexpectedly, but by Divine design, we found it necessary to walk away from our old building. What a blessing that has ended up being! It broke any remaining sense of building-idolatry off us and set us free to BE church, not to “go to church…”
The Lord also set us free from church leaders confined to urban thinking — and much more importantly — to leaders who have actively and angrily rejected Jesus the Word.
All this happened — and much more — because one year ago today we made a very difficult decision (almost unanimously) to walk away from a denomination that has lost its way and to move forward as a congregation connected to the most vibrant missions movement in the world!
May 5th is a Holiday (Holy day) for us! It marks our independence from forced support of Apostacy (false religion). It marks our interdependence with Kaleo and our missionaries around the World — with an increasing number to be located right here in Appalachia. Most importantly, it marks our total dependence upon the Lord, the One who led us to this place— a place we never could have imagined even a year ago!!!
BEFORE we could see, the Lord saw. This is Foresight. By His foresight we are a church Family that needs neither buildings nor Sundays to be Family. We are grateful for both buildings and Sunday services, but they are for us dessert, not the main course. In His foresight, we have become a church that will thrive even under repression and persecution. Thank you, Jesus for May 5th! Thank you, Jesus, for Your Foresight!!!