Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It Really Is Like A Birth

We are counting down to the launch of the Agape Church of Christ. It was about a year ago that we made the decision to go with Kairos and plant a church in Portland. God had been leading us for 2 years to leave Metro but we thought it would be a church down south. God is good and we wanted to stay here. One of the Kairos trainers asked us why we would leave a city we had developed an outreach for 8 years in--we needed to think about planting here--he said (rather than Seattle--which we were discussing). I had told the elders God was leading in this and after prayers we resigned publically on April 9. Two days later the Park Plaza Church of Christ called Kairos and said they had a large mission contribution and were interested in supporting a church plant in the Northwest. We have seen God's hand for years but this humbled us!

This Sunday we will have our first practice at Lincoln High School. Lincoln is next to PGE Park, a MAX stop, and in downtown Portland. This will be our home. We are mailing out 10,000 flyers for our Easter service on April 8 (1 year from when I resigned from Metro). We will have an Easter egg hunt on April 7 with a carnival. Park Plaza is sending 20 people from Tulsa to help us with the launch. Our core team of 16 have done so much. They have started 5 home communities and are reaching out to unchurched people. Our contact base has grown to over 70 people and our monthly public worships at Cascade have been over 50 people. We are excited. We are pumped. God has been blessing and blessing. I am so proud of our team, and my wonderful wife and sons. It is a tough transition but they have been leading me at times.

Yet it is still vision, dream, and hope. Just like when Lori was carrying the babies. I knew at birth it would be tangible, visible, and someone to work with. But the feelings during the 9 months were similar to how I feel now. Sometimes Satan brings anxiety, fear, worry, uncertainty. Yet we have followed a plan that has succeeded for so many church plants--and we are amazed at what is happening. Sometimes we are "stressed" because we are "not stressed."

But your prayers are appreciated. We are setting a goal of 200-250 for Easter services at Lincoln, and we feel that God will bless us with that. So many people are excited about this new church--it truly is a birth. So many tell us they will be there. God continues to humble us. God knows the future but I am glad God is letting us wait and hope.


Johnny said...

I will continue to pray that God will bless your team's efforts and many people will be exposed to the love, grace, and forgivenness of Jesus.

kristi w said...

Oh, Ron - we totally understand those feelings of the impending birth of a new church. We will pray for this time - and the great joy to come!

James Wood said...

Prayers are comin'