That’s always been one of my favorite Bible verses… it was one of the first ones that I’d memorized when I became a Christian in prison. It was encouraging to read that there must have been many others back then that must’ve felt discouraged in order for the Apostle Paul to have written that to the church in Galatia back in 50 AD. At times, in the church planting world, we can grow weary… we can get tired… sometimes to be honest, I have felt like bashing my head against a wall (although I still haven’t done it…yet LOL!!!) but then when things seem hard God always comes through and does some really dope stuff to encourage us, and remind us that we’ve been called and chosen for such a time as this.
Last Saturday (August 18th) we had an all church picnic and celebrated 7 more baptisms!!! That’s 18 baptisms so far this year… things like this, make all the struggle worth it, knowing that we are making an impact for the kingdom.
So we won’t grow weary when people give up… we won’t grow weary when things start to change… recent situations have made me wonder what the early church must’ve gone through that made them want to give up… nothing we’re going through can stand in comparison, yet I truly believe that some of the feelings and emotions from back then remain the same in today’s church planting world.
I’ve considered Jonah and wondered why did he run away from where God was telling him to go? What must he have been struggling with to resist God so strongly? Were all his creditors in Nineveh? An old girlfriend perhaps? Whatever the case may be, I know that I am not Jonah, and Lynwood is not Nineveh… I also know is that God has called us, RCLA, to this city for such a time as this. So much has been accomplished in such a short period of time, so many wonderful relationships that have prospered, trust built, and respect earned with some amazing people in our community. We’re averaging almost 100 people on Sundays, that’s not bad considering we started with approximately 30, and some folks have left since we planted. Things change and so do people, so we won’t mourn but instead we celebrate the new people that God is bringing in, we celebrate a new thing that God is doing, we celebrate all the awesome relationships that are being made, connections being established, and people’s brains exploding with knowledge of God, and that knowledge flowing forth through their hearts.
We’ve got 2 HUGE events coming up in September!
On the 22nd we’re kicking off the LYNWOOD COMMITMENT, a beautification project we’ve been a part of helping establish along with Mayor Solache and an awesome Lynwood team. Then we’re partnering with Greater Emmanuel Temple, the biggest African-American church in Lynwood, to host a “UNITY SERVICE” at Lynwood Park on Sunday September 30th. We’re so excited as our worship teams are already planning on working together to make this happen. The whole city will be invited as we hope to make much of Jesus!
So when things get tough… we keep it pushing. When the waters look rough… we won’t get weary of doing good… when people throw in the towel, we won’t get weary of doing good… when things don’t go as planned, we won’t get weary while doing good… why? Because in due season we will reap… if we do NOT lose heart (Galatians 6:9). You can also celebrate with us that we just finished purchasing all our equipment and software for our audio/ visual needs… we’ll be rocking screens next week… BABY BABYYYY (In my best Biggie Smalls voice). Our church is growing, God is giving it the growth and we’re honored that He would use us to co-labor with Him in building His kingdom here in Lynwood. Church planting is NOT for the faint of heart… we’ve gotta be in it to win it… we work our tails off, God gives the growth… we’re faithful to our calling, God makes things happen… we’re obedient to His commands, God does His thing… when we’re weak, it’s only through Him that we’re strong… and that’s why only the strong survive, when we empty ourselves of our selves and are filled up with Him. We’ve got to be willing to endure hard things for the sake of the kingdom… I saw a post recently that reminded me of what that might look like… here are just a few things to consider when working to build community… thanks for reading this, being involved in our story, and spurring us on towards love and good deeds.