I was recently asked by a pastor in North Carolina to summarize what I thought was the most important lesson I’ve learned so far in these nearly three years of planting CCA. It was a hard question simply because there is so much that has happened and so much shifting and growth that has occurred. However, after thinking for just a few moments this truth emerged. If you don’t surrender your personal agenda and allow God to shape the heart of your church and shape your heart as a leader, you are going no where fast. I have learned more, grown more, and have become so much more of an effective leader through completely giving up my pre-concieved ideas and simply allowing God to create the kind of church HE WANTS CCA TO BE.
God is doing some incredible things through us for sure, but far more important is what I see Him doing IN us. Here are just a few…
1. Our incredible passion and love for the lost-
We have become a church that measures success not by the amount of people sitting in the room but rather by the stories of the lives that are being changed. I watch people with addictions, people with agnostic and secular humanistic backgrounds, people struggling with alternative lifestyles, and the list goes on and on, come every week and feel the love and acceptance that only comes from God. He has made it clear to us that reaching people far from God is at times messy business but everyone seems to get it and is completely ok with it. Perhaps it stems from the fact that we realize our lives aren’t quite as neat as we would like everyone to think as well. Whatever it is, there is a pure love that is present that I praise God for and see as a divine move.
2. The unbelievable spirit of servanthood-
Ask anyone at CCA and they will tell you, when we do outreach, service projects or just weekly ministry in house, the number of people who get involved is amazing. For example, at last weeks EGGDROP we were able to minister to over 2500 hundred people from our community and literally 75% of our congregation was involved in various aspects of the planning and production. It’s this way in just about all we do and it is a conspicuous reminder of what the Lord is doing in the hearts of His people. The willingness to serve the Lord by serving others is something our community has taken particular note of and has been an inspiration to many. I am moved by it.
3. The undeniable passion that we have for the vision-
When we were led to simplify and scripturally distinguish God’s purpose for our existence, it changed everything.
We believed Luke 10 encompassed an agenda centered around love that would lead us forward, and it has. To LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE AND SERVE OTHERS has been a cornerstone that has passionately unified our lives. The reason there are so many people who come to a school cafeteria at 7:30 on sunday morning and break down lunch tables, set up 225 chairs, run cables, set up instruments, hang projectors, put out signs, erect screens, and then serve there posts and put it all back the way it was after service is complete is BECAUSE THEY ARE PASSIONATELY CONVINCED THAT GOD’S VISION IS WORTH IT.
There is so much more that is happening but I simply wanted to convey how humbled, honored and thankful for the work of God that is not simply happening THROUGH us but more importantly IN US.
Easter is just a couple of days away now and my spirit is alive with the anticipation of sharing the glorious Gospel with people that are far from God. We must never grow weary in well doing even though it is so easy to do.
Please pray, invite, invest and come expecting to see God move on the hearts of those who need Him in there lives.
All for Christ, JMark