This past Sunday was pretty special for Grace Hills Church. After four years of being a portable church plant meeting in two local movie theaters, we moved into our newly renovated space in Rogers, Arkansas. We called it a “soft launch” and reserved the Grand Opening for this coming Sunday – our fourth anniversary since launching pulicly.
We’d been averaging 245 people in our weekend services and weren’t entirely sure what to expect, so we were a little blown away when 353 people gathered with us on our inaugural weekend. We made the decision to offer two services each Sunday upon relocating, and while there’s still some room, it’s already feeling quite cozy. This coming weekend is our official “big day” and again, we’re not sure what to expect.
My mind races with questions…
- What if more people show up than our new space will accommodate?
- How will we help all of our guests with getting connected and taking next steps?
- How can we be good stewards of this opportunity?
- What if I forget to wear a shirt?… Sorry, it’s a recurring
And over the last few weeks, I’ve sensed the Holy Spirit dealing with me about thinking too small and playing it too safe. So today our staff grappled with the three questions that have kept me up at night lately.
Question #1: Do I really love the spiritually lost like Jesus does?
It’s one thing to talk about evangelism and give lip service to the great commission. It’s quite another to feel such genuine groaning over the hurting and broken that we’re willing to bear that passion before God’s throne continually in prayer, to sacrifice our preferences so that others might be drawn to the cross, and to break out of our comfort zones to share the good news with others.
Question #2: Do I really want to be part of a healthy and thriving church?
Again, as church leaders, we want to jump at the chance to say “yes” based on mere common sense. But with being part of a growing church comes the challenges of what make a church healthy enough to grow in the first place – midnight oil, elbow grease, and the power of God. Any worthwhile endeavor requires hard work, sacrifice, and the guts to take risks – even guts to fail. Often.
Question #3: Will I really do “whatever it takes” to reach more lost people?
I don’t want to give up my Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons, but would I be willing to preach a third service each week if it enabled us to reach more lost people? It’s easy to coast along on yesterday’s successes, but am I willing to invest heavily in new leaders and work toward new goals? Will I invest my time, my talent, and my treasure to fulfill the mission?
It boils down to counting the cost, deciding to embrace a holy discontent, and being determined to keep chasing the Holy Spirit no matter where he leads and no matter what he does.
At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest question of all is, Is Jesus worth it? Is he worthy of our full devotion and does he deserve to be raved about by his followers in this world? I’d say so. So I want to keep on chasing. I want to bring one more to Jesus.