It has been over a month since I first announced to our church that the school district has asked us to be looking for a new place to rent on Sunday mornings. This isn’t what we anticipated, but God has given us a huge blessing in this – because we have time to find a place for 200 people on Sunday mornings – which has turned out to be a tough task! We have looked at storefronts (too expensive), other churches (afternoons only), closing churches (too small for our church). We are still looking to buy property and build, but that will take longer than our immediate time frame. I am doing all the work I can, and PRAYING like crazy every day to find a new rental for Sunday mornings.
Let me tell you a story from our own church’s history. Early on, we were trying really hard to rent Freedom Elementary for our upcoming Sunday morning services. Two teachers at the school were in our core group and the space inside the school would really have worked. After being told “maybe” for 3 months, I had to have an answer – our first service was only 1 month away! I asked for a definite, and was told “no”. Oh no… what will this mean? What can I do? I started praying. I asked Modesto Covenant to be praying. They put it on their prayer list. And God answered that prayer! Someone knew someone who knew the principal at Enochs, who walked me through and made the arrangements – it was perfect (and just in time!). Not only was the space inside great, but the visibility from the road was WAY better than Freedom. God had a plan – and our church meeting at Enochs has been a much better plan than mine was. I believe more people have been reached because we have been in a more visible location – and followed God’s leading.
God is in control. We are HIS church, following His lead – He will not forsake us. Let me tell you – those 3 months where I heard “maybe” were hard. That two weeks where we had no place to go and a service coming up were REALLY hard – but God was in control. We still need to do our work – I had to make the calls and be diligent in my work – but God will open the door. As we look for a new rental – I am now ANTICIPATING the Lord’s work. He will probably not answer our prayers in the same way (God is pretty creative!). He will answer our prayer. I am doing my work, making my calls, seeing doors open, other doors close. I am praying for the Lord to open the right location so that it will be clear where the Lord will have us worship Him for the next 3 or so years (while we purchase land and construct a building with Him).
Pray with me. Finding a new rental has been harder than it was 5 years ago. I could not have done this task 5 years ago – I would have forced the issue or tried to be in too much control. God is helping me to not be in control as I do the work I am called to do – and let Him do His work. I want to learn from God’s history with me and Covenant Grove. I want to grow and be given bigger tasks for the Lord. Jesus has answered those prayers! He is growing me, and stretching us to new levels of faith. Pray with me. Watch and see what the Lord will do. We will work hard and follow Him – and know that the real work is the Lord’s. He is with us – watch and see! The Lord will do great things among us.