Back in 2004 the band Modest Mouse released the album “Good News for People Who Like Bad News.” I’ve thought about that title more than once this year. The year 2020 has been full of good news for people who like bad news, hasn’t it?
And not only is it easy to focus on the negative stuff; it’s necessary to acknowledge it all. That’s an important part of the grieving process.
But there is good news and cause for optimism, too. If you’ve felt unsure about Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church and had concerns about how it will come out of this, I’d like to give you five reasons for optimism.
We are making more and better disciples for Jesus. Our efforts have not been put on hold and they are bearing fruit. People are getting discipled and are meeting in small groups in person and online. We baptized 8 people earlier this summer! Our live streamed services have expanded the scope of our ministry; on youtube, facebook, and PEGTV each week many people are edified by our worship and teaching who never joined us in a building. Our mission is how we decide to do what we do, and it’s also how we measure how well we’re doing it. So take heart.
The leadership of Furnace Brook (Pastor Tate and the Board) have made difficult decisions in a timely fashion. They have looked at the budget with clear eyes and have taken necessary steps to reduce overhead and to put us in a sound financial position to bless others and to go into the future with confidence and margin.
Our church has elasticity in our spiritual DNA. We have demonstrated again and again that we are willing to be flexible in our pursuit of God’s will. And this leaves us uniquely suited to not only survive but flourish in the upheaval of this season. God is doing a new thing and our church is not so brittle and backward facing that we will foolishly resist him. And God rewards supple wineskins with new wine.
We all miss our building, and no one more so than the pastor. But the Board of Furnace Brook is wisely committed to the process. We are earnestly investigating all sorts of possibilities, but we also have the patience needed to make sure that we get this right. We are determined to end up with a situation that is forward looking and that takes into consideration the ministry requirements of this new season that we are in. That’s huge. The place where we arrive will be so good and so right as to redeem the journey by which we came to it.
Prayer and Revival
We are committed to prayer and to revival, and this is no small thing. This isn’t the spiritual stuff you say to check off the spiritual box. Please consider signing up to join us on September 25 for “A Night with New Room.” You can participate from home or join us in one of the locations we hope to set up for the purpose. And from now to then, would you consider taking the Psalm 85:6 challenge to join us in concerted prayer? And let me tell you something personal about my own prayer: I have been praying really hard for the last several months and God has consistently responded to my prayer by giving me a sense of peace and a conviction about the good things to come, even if he has been vague on the details.
So be encouraged. The things in our favor greatly outweigh the challenges we are facing and God is with us.
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog