April 22, 2014

Celebrate God's Graces

We recently had our college ministry leaders in our home, and Kyle and I sat among them, adults and students alike, listening as they shared stories about the year and how God has moved. They also shared struggles and wrestled with questions about next year and there seemed to be some uncertainty.
I remember when there were none of you. It was me, piping up from the couch. I remember driving through Grounds and praying through tears for God to help us reach college students. And He did. Now look where we are, almost six years and scores of students later.

I didn't mean numbers, and I didn't mean that we should draw attention to ourselves. I meant that the vision we originally had for the church was God-given and that He's making it a reality. This church is all of ours now. We started with a desire to have an inter-generational church where students and adults alike meld together in one Body, and it's taken a while for all of us to awaken to the possibilities, but it's happening.

That's what I heard as I sat on the couch--God's sweet whisper of grace through the mouths of the ministry leaders as they gave voice to the original vision.

It's happening. Me again, from the couch. It's happening, and you are a part of that. Be encouraged!

Maybe it wasn't as much an encouragement for them as it was for me. Because I'm constantly forgetting from where we've come, and I'm forever having memory lapses of God's goodness and faithfulness. There is always something I can find to be discouraged about, always evidence that I could be further along, whether it's in our church or my parenting or anything really. When I give more attention to these things than they deserve, I hinder my own thanksgiving and joy.

But that evening that I spent listening from my couch reminded me that if I just take a moment to look carefully enough, there is always something to celebrate. It may be as small as a conversation or a relationship or an indication that someone we're investing in is having a light bulb moment. It may be a kind word from one child to another or a word of encouragement out of the blue. It may be that something that we've been faithfully doing for years and years is starting to bring forth spiritual fruit. Whatever it is, give it the attention it deserves. Celebrate God's graces!

Let's encourage one another! What are you celebrating today that God has done? I'll go first...the picture above is of my middle son's baptism on Palm Sunday. I'm celebrating his new life in Christ!

Also, I'd like to spend my next few blog posts answering questions about church planting and/or ministry. Do you have one that you'd like me to tackle? Simply leave it in the comment section of this post.