The Glorious Mess and Beauty
I have been reading a great book called “The Pastor: A Memoir” by Eugene Peterson. Here is one of my favorite parts from the book:
"I was being prepared to understand a congregation as a gathering of people that requires a context as large as the Bible itself if we are to deal with the ambiguities of life in the actual circumstances in which people live them. If the life of David that comprised prayer and adultery and murder could be written and told as a gospel story, no one in my congregation would be written off. For me, my congregation would become a work-in-progress - a novel in which everyone and everything is connected in a salvation story in which Jesus has the last word."
In January, Brent and I had the privilege of being a part of a small gathering of pastors and church planters hosted by Jay Pathak from the Mile High Vineyard in the Denver area. It was a time to pray together, encourage each other, and dream of what could be in our churches and cities.
I was reminded that church planting is about loving people like Jesus and entering into their world with all its glorious mess and beauty, laughing and crying together, wrestling with questions like how can I find a better job that gives me a sense of purpose? How can I make just a little more money so I can put some away for the future? How do I love my spouse when there seems to be a wall between us? How can I spend more time with my kids? What if the test result says I have cancer?
Our Vancouver church planting story is intimately connected to your story. We are here because you felt led by God to pray with us. We are here because of your desire to see people in Vancouver transformed by the love of God like you were. We are here because you felt led by God to give generously and sacrificially. Our stories are connected because we are all part of the salvation story. And Jesus has the last word!