These are times of unparalleled opportunity: times of great unrest and great risk.
These are times of great insecurity where “love is now mingled with grief”
(Galadriel in “The Fellowship of the Ring” by Peter Jackson.)
As of yesterday, LeeElla and I were officially released from New Hope Christian Center by the board and pastoral staff. Our Goodbye service is on Sunday morning April 30th at 10AM.
The letter said:
"...we would like to release you, as of Easter Sunday, to begin your ministry."
We feel this letter is a good thing and will help both New Hope and Jacob's Well to move forward and pursue the purposes of God in this city with a focus on the future.
So with that officially said, I am free to be open and communicative about the direction and passion the Lord has laid on our hearts and the emerging church (Jacob's Well) that we are gathering in East Central Spokane.
Though there have been many elements of this transition that have been difficult, we all feel this is the Lord's direction and best for all involved. So with that, we bless the past and treasure the amazing journey and all the fruit; and with renewed vision and exciting anticipation we turn and face the opportunities that lay ahead.
We are so excited to share that the Lord has provided an amazing answer to prayer for all of us! We will be signing a lease (probably next week) on an amazing facility down in East Central for Jacob's Well to meet at as a church body and to pursue the vision of a local community art house, music venue, coffee shop, book store and practical ministry location.
The building was bought and designed to be a college age coffee house by a Christian couple that had a dream to create a place for the young adult community to gather together. Unfortunately due to some situations they were not able to proceed beyond purchasing the facility, renovating it completely with new wiring, paint, alarm system, handicap bathrooms and 4 rooms/offices as well as the main room and side music performance room. It is 2700 square feet of dream living opportunity! Located right in the heart of the poor urban community we feel called to love and serve as a church community.
Things have been moving fast but as I have said in previous posts and sermons, I have known that this was the season to "ACT PROMPTLY" (2 Samuel 5:24). We have purposed in our hearts to not “Strike the ground only three times” (2 Kings 13:18-19) but to keep moving forward in this season with courage, purpose and prayerful but bold action.
Without prayer we do not see it, and without obedience we do not seize it.
But trust me, this is not a new vision but an unfolding of years of prayer, dreaming, hard work and painful but persistent push; as well as the ministering of gospel focused destiny into the hearts and minds of core people who have become increasingly bonded together for Christ's work that is growing in and through all of us in this city and with us personally as pastors.
We can't save the city but we can love it…and with all of God's peaceful purpose we will do that with joy in the days ahead.
Thank you everyone who had endured the heat and trouble of this season. Thank you my dear friends and family that have supported us, loved us and empowered us to dream and live the dream with open eyes in the daytime.
Thanks to all the people of Jacob's Well, that are creating an atmosphere of faith, possibilities and practical action. You all amaze us. We are blessed to be among a group of believers that are dreamers and doers. I know that the purposes of God that lay within all of you are uniting together in a powerful God ordained synergy that will produce abundant fruit in our community.
Thanks to everyone at New Hope for being the fertile ground from which we were able to emerge and become all that God has called us to be. Our work will be part of your crown to the glory of God.