Tomorrow morning (or maybe today as you’re reading this) our church begins a new chapter. Honestly, more accurately said, it’s another new chapter for our church in the course of a year.
Early this past year we announced that we’d have a new Lead Pastor for our church as our founding Pastor, David Whitehead, handed the church over to Jason James. That was a 6+ month process that culminated in September with a 10 year anniversary celebration (watch the 10 year video)for our church and handoff to Jason.
Shortly after Jason took the reigns he and I sat in a meeting with our current leasing location who informed us that they were increasing our rent by 500%. We trusted in the provision of our Savior and announced it to our church before we even knew where we’d be going. And Jesus was more than faithful.
Tomorrow morning Grace turns the page as we begin to meet at Public School 452 just a couple of blocks away from our previous location.
In typical God like fashion, (as I’ve heard said), He wasn’t early, and He wasn’t late, He was right on time. We came down to literally the final day when the school contacted us that we had been approved to meet in their facility.
As we move the reality of New York becomes very evident. We’re only moving about 2.5 blocks away. And yet, in a 2.5 block distance we find that we’re moving from a predominantly white neighborhood (90+%) to a much more diverse setting. In only 2.5 blocks the white population drops to 60% and we’ll now be directly across the street from the projects. What’s amazing is that before we even knew where we were going God began to move on our hearts the desire to have a multicultural expression from our church. What an amazing and beautiful God we serve.
As we look ahead we of course have dreams of what God might do. Our guess, though, is that His dreams for us far overshadow any dreams we could have. He knows that neighborhood better than any of us do. He knows the people better than any of us do (and this includes our congregants who live in that area!). He knows us better than we do.
A scripture we often remind ourselves of as a staff comes from Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
That’s our heart as we move into this new facility tomorrow morning. We’re eager to plan and dream, but, in all things we want to point to Jesus and His wonderful ways for our lives and our church.
Please pray for us as we dive into this new adventure for our church! And, we covet your prayers for our family as well as Helena developed a fever today and we’ve had to get a sitter for tomorrow morning. And, as this incredibly cold weather (we haven’t experienced anything this extreme since moving here!) persists I’ve developed some pretty bad congestion as well. All that to say, please pray for our church and our family. We desperately need God’s healing, His wisdom, and His guidance as He writes our future on the landscape of New York City.