I won't say it was a mistake, letting God get a hold of our hearts and imaginations. It wasn't a mistake, but neither was it a good plan for securing a comfortable future.
When we decided that our mission was going to be to make more and better disciples for Jesus, even if that meant moving out of our historic building in North Chittenden, the location of our worship service was probably the least significant change to take place. We would never be the same once we got a taste of the thrill of following Jesus out into deeper waters . . . and not drowning. We would never be the same after following faith into places that only providence could lead us out of. We would never be the same after seeing people come to faith in a building that physically represented our rejection of security and comfort.
And now, a little over three years after that big undertaking, just at the time when we are in danger of opting again for the comfortable and safe, God has presented us with another opportunity for making more and better disciples in a way that will stretch us and glorify Him.
Forest Dale Wesleyan Church, our sister church in Brandon, is facing a leadership transition with the resignation of their pastor. Our two boards have been meeting to discuss what it would look like for them to join us to make one church that would have two locations.
There are a lot of details that need to be worked out, and nothing is certain yet, but the sense of the leadership at both churches is that this is the frightening, overwhelming, risky, and totally awesome thing that God is calling us to.
Our brothers and sisters at Forest Dale will be taking a risk and making a sacrifice. They have been a solid and independent church for a long time and they could get some distance further down the road that they are on before running completely out of gas. In taking this step now for the sake of the lost people in their community they are giving up on the dreams they cherished of success on their own terms. Being willing to take that risk and make that sacrifice really says something about their heart for Jesus.
But we will be taking a risk and making a sacrifice as well. There will be a season of greater service as we lend our skills, efforts and physical presence to the work in Brandon. We run the risk, by dividing our energies, of sapping the momentum from the work that is being done in our own location. We will certainly be sacrificing our prospect of a comfortable season of ministry, a season in which we might have finally started to feel like we knew what we were doing.
The leadership of both churches has been counting the cost. We all know that we will be giving something up to see this happen. On the other hand, we see potential benefits, sure, for both churches. But, honestly, those benefits aren't likely enough or great enough to justify the risks.
Our Savior, however, is. He, having sacrificed everything for us when our condition was utterly hopeless, has the right to ask this of us. And we can be glad He has. Following Jesus into new and alarming ventures for the sake of making more and better disciples is about as bad for your comfort as it is good for your soul.
If you have any questions about the details of this venture please let us know. We're eager to do this transparently and inclusively.
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog