Traveling thoughts from day 1 of my trip across the US en route to pastor the church at Sunset Bay Chapel.
I love the ocean. I love the calmness of the glassy mornings , the sheer massiveness of it all, the rhythm of the swells, and powerful force of the waves. My life has felt eerily similar to a beach trip over the past six months. Since September I’ve been calmly resting in God’s hands. Then something began to swell. Before I knew it, I was preaching in FishHawk, FL as the final pastoral candidate on March 1st and the massiveness of the situation hit. As I left California today I had a strange sensation. It was as if a spiritual swell of prayer was building behind me and carrying me forward into a new ride.
The ride of my life.
I have just left a loving church family at Glenkirk Church and I am en route to a new loving church family at Sunset Bay Chapel. The prayers of both have been keenly felt, and I sit here overwhelmed (in the good way) with the swell of God’s grace building at my feet. I am excited and eager to catch this building swell and it peaks into a wave. I’ll keep my eyes up to see where the swell is forming so I can position myself to be propelled by a the loving presence of Jesus’ power.
I spent too many years trying to make waves in my own strength, like a child splashing about. After time, I see the futility and remind myself who God is and how loved I am in Jesus. Only then can I stop splashing around and simply position myself in the path of God’s grace. It those moments he washes over me with his power, his forgiveness, his plan, and his love, Nothing has ever been a more tangible and present reality in my experience.
What does this have to do with church growth?
During this transition many people have asked me what I’m going to do to “grow” the new church I will be pastoring. I gently remind them that I’m the messenger (aka seed chucker), and God is the grower. I will proclaim the gospel of Jesus, train up disciple makers, and lift up Jesus to be seen for the marvelous savior that he is. I will strive to keep the main, the main thing. In keeping with the beach motif, I’m going to position Sunset Bay Chapel week after week in the path of God’s swelling grace and mercy. Then we will all sit back in awe of what God can do in his sovereign love.
Are you caught up in God’s swell of grace and mercy today? Here we go!