Do you love where you serve? I'm not talking about the church you serve, I'd hope that you do love the church that you find yourself working in. No I'm talking about the community that you have been called to serve.
We moved back into Canonsburg, in September of 2012. Over the last year, we have been working to reconnect with the community. Our kids are embedded. They are involved in the schools, sports, and friendships that have formed over the last 14 months. We have started getting to know our neighbors, teachers, and coaches. And we, that is my wife and I, are finding that being in this community is an experience that we ca't imagine not having.
We moved here to take the lead of a church plant. Our goal, to be an Acts 2 church. Simple.
But that's what we hoped for, to a church that embodied the character traits of the church we see in the early chapter of the Book of Acts. For the last year, we have spent the bulk of our energies focused on starting the church. You know, getting all our ducks in a row. Figuring out who we were and how things would look. We wanted our "T's" crossed and our "I's" dotted. And much discussion was had, talking out the issues and difficulties that come with starting something new. It was and continues to be a learning experience.
As I look at 2014, I wonder what the new year will hold for the church. You see, I live in Canonsburg. My kids go to school in Canonsburg. And Canonsburg is where I find my heart leading me to love people. Canonsburg is a richly diverse community. To look at the population you will find those who live down in the heart of town, those who live on the outskirts, and those who continue to live the country life on farms.
The financial diversity is here as well. Within a short walk you will pass those struggling to provide for their family, those who do well enough to keep a little extra in the savings account, and those who enjoy certain luxuries and freedoms. it really is a unique and wonderful community.
And it's this community that I want to reach. It's this community, and all of it's rich diversity that I believe God has called me to serve. And I love it. Perhaps not fully at first. But in the last 6 months, I have felt like God was giving me a real desire and passion for this community. As I think about the church and the future, I believe the future of the church is found in the people of Canonsburg.
One of the things that made the church in Acts unique was that it was focused on proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the neighbors within the community. It was a ministry of love to their neighbors; those who lived next door, door the street and around the corner.
I want to reach the people of Canonsburg for the glory of God alone. I want to see my neighbors come to know of God's love for them, His gift of grace, and the life we were meant to live through Jesus Christ. I want to see the church become a place of hope and healing, faith and forgiveness, love and compassion. I want to see people worship their Creator. Not just on Sunday's while sitting in the chair of a building, but to live their lives to bring glory and honor to God in obedience. I want to see people who hear the Gospel of Jesus, receive His love and forgiveness, and become disciples of His word, growing in faith and spiritual maturity.
I want to watch as my neighbors discover their God-given gifts, then turn around and use them to serve those around them. I want those new family members to become ambassadors of the King. Men and women, students and children who speak truth in love. Who make it their purpose to share God's love with others. I want to see a church be raised up with the desire to see the whole community impacted as we become the hands and feet of Jesus. I want to see a generation move forward into the world to change the world for the glory of Christ.
You see, I have a heart for the people of Canonsburg. And as I begin a new year of ministry, my prayer is that God will open the doors of Canonsburg. I'm looking for a building in town that could service as both a place of worship and a place to serve. I pray for the financial resources to provide for the ministry and work we seek to accomplish. And I am praying for the hearts of the men and the women and the teens and the children of Canonsburg to be open to the hearing of God's message.
2014 will be an exciting year. What will God do? What will happen to Harvest Church? What will happen to the community of Canonsburg? I can't wait to see!
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