In our preparation for the opening of Awakening Church, we’ve had to wrestle with some real questions like, “Does the world really need more churches?” The answer is yes, but the world doesn’t need more mediocre churches. The world needs healthy and vibrant churches that are genuinely fulfilling the Great Commission in their cities, towns, and nations. Life-filled churches with genuine worship, biblical teaching and healthy, accepting community – churches that point people to JESUS.
By God’s grace we began services this past weekend at our new location in Bellevue. Even though services have officially begun, God is (and will continually be) shaping who we are and our vision. Honestly, it’s pretty easy for me to write out a Bible-based Christ-centered vision. But I’m learning to hold my vision very loosely. As I sit across the table from inquiring individuals, the most commonly asked question is, “What’s your vision?” In responding to that question, I resist the urge to give set-in-stone answers. In these early days, we know that we can’t fully see the full scope of that vision until God begins to bring people that will help to shape it. While we are focused on being multi-cultural, I don’t know who God is going to flood our church with. And I don’t know the gifting of those people. I’m practicing patience in the full-scope vision too quickly at the risk of quenching the Spirit.
Another one of the questions that we’ve had to ask ourselves is, “What is absolutely necessary to plant a church?”
The number one thing that we need in order to plant a church is unchurched people.
This means that we need to be around unchurched people. We’ve been intentional and opportunistic with the relationships that God has brought our way over the past year. Because of those relationships, we had at least 4 different faiths and culture backgrounds represented at our first service. What an incredible opportunity to share the good news of JESUS with them.
In this kick-off season, we are thinking about building Awakening Church just like you would build a house. When you build a house, you’re not already thinking about the additions, renovations, or expansions. When you start building a house, you’re thinking about the foundation. We want to make sure we lay a solid foundation…and it takes a lot of time, effort, and dollars to do that. But once that solid foundation is laid, then we can start building out. This is our foundation building season.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support that have all enabled us to be on this journey. Please continue praying for us for the following requests.
- The launch of our second City Group meeting in Bellevue.
- Developing relationships with 300+ international families connected to Jubilee Reach (where we meet).
- Developing leadership teams and City Group leaders.
- Staffing needs: On Oct 14 we will have a potential worship leader with us. Additionally, we are praying that God would bring us a discipleship pastor.
- Praise: This past week our new Awakening Kids Director, Louise Rider, and her husband Gary moved to Bellevue. Please pray for them as they get settled in their new home and life.