"Starting things is glorious. The everyday sustaining--that's hard."
If I could summarize church planting (not to mention parenting!) in one quote, that would be it. The vision phase was glorious, but the actual tilling, planting, and nurturing a little seed of a church has been much more messy, real-life, challenging, and humbling than I could have imagined coming into it.
I was telling Marylyn yesterday that I am a totally different person than I was the day I stepped foot in Charlottesville....in a good way. I have never before had to have such faith. After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for and I remember times of feeling like we were pretending to be a church....when we were acting as if God would grow us into a real church out of faith and hope and trust. I'm thankful for what church planting has taught me and made me.
Who knows what lies ahead for Charlottesville Community Church and the Hoover family, but at this moment I am so thankful to be where we are and to have seen the Lord grow something from the very beginning. It has been amazing to watch! I love our church--the community, the teaching, the worship, the personalities, the authenticity, the heart for others. If my husband wasn't the pastor, I would still want to go here. I love that I can see that CCC is here for certain reasons because it helps me see God's purposefulness and intentionality. His grace in allowing us to be a part of this is incredible.
My favorite things happening right now include the faces in the above picture. They are some of our UVA students the Lord has given us! In August, we had about 4 students attending. Those 4 students have invited and included around 35 more students that come regularly today. We, of course, love college students and are so excited to have them.
I am also excited about our church giving birth! We're working with two other churches in the area to plant a Spanish-speaking church in our area. It launches in April.
There are many other things I find myself "treasuring in my heart", especially in reading that quote I told you about earlier. It has reminded me of how challenging the road has been, but how God is moving and blessing and so obviously doing all the work of changing hearts.