My Facebook feed this week showed me how at this time a year ago, I’d posted this:
“Had our 1st leadership meeting today at our new church home! I’m grateful for the diversity God has brought together in such an amazing group of foks!” That still rings true, however since then our team has changed, adjusted, and has continuously undergone adjustments.
I remember how one family that was adamant about coming with us to be a part of the church plant informed us just 3 weeks later that they had changed their mind and would not be a part of RCLA’s CORE team. . . we were saddened because our team (and entire church) grew smaller less than a month into it. But we trusted God and He slowly started to draw His people in. . . one of the greatest means of that grace has been social media.
Before the end of the year on one end our church continued to grow but we also lost more people that were a part of our CORE Team. On one hand we celebrate God giving the growth to His church, and on the other we were saddened to see folks we loved leave. One person said they needed a bigger church to just hide out, and we blessed them! Another left on not so good terms, we pray for him and his walk with the Lord. And God continued to grow His church by drawing in other people, folks that are hungry to learn, eager to serve, and thirsty for fellowship.
Many people told us that our church and team would look drastically different one year later, and we looked at them like they were crazy, “NOT OUR TEAM!!!” But yes, our team too would look very different a year later. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve come to learn that our CORE Team was not infact a a core team, but more of a launch team, meaning God brought together an amazing group of talented folks together to help launch this church, and launch it they did. Times change, families grow, jobs change, and people change too. . . this summer our team will take another change and instead of mourn great people who will be transitioning to a new stage of church family/ membership, we celebrate their time with us and thank God for them and what they brought to us in launching RCLA. We also step back and see how the Lord is moving and shaking things up to further grow His church here in Lynwood.
After church today (Sunday July 8th) my wife said, “There were quite a few people today in church I’d never seen!” and that’s because there are new people coming every week, they’re being loved on, ministered to, and embraced with the love of God.
Today as I stood up to preach, I stood at the pulpit and gazed around the sanctuary of our church and was so grateful to see so many new faces, eager to hear the Word of God preached, they were challenged to follow Jesus, and let go of whatever was holding them back from serving Him. Growing pains can hurt, but they are necessary… and we’re grateful for all we’ve experienced thus far!