Back in November, our lead pastor asked the congregation to pray for courage and boldness for him and for our church, because he sensed God was calling us to do something new and big, but he knew it would be risky (it might not work), and it would come with a pretty big price tag.
So, over the last few months, we’ve prayed for clarity for the vision God had given our lead pastor, and for a willingness to do what God was calling us to do – no matter what.
A week ago Sunday, we had a special afternoon meeting at church, where our lead pastor shared that vision the Lord had given him last fall:
That our church would become a multi-site church – one church with multiple locations.
Our church has a long and strong history of success in starting 12 new churches across our region, and elsewhere in the U.S., not to mention the dozens of churches we’ve planted in overseas.
But this would be the first time we launched a new congregation that would still be part of our church – not a church of their own.
Pastor shared his burden for a neighboring city of 70,000 people, where only about half, or 35,000, attended church on a given weekend. He felt that this community should be where we launch our first new venue.
While talking with school, business and city leaders about the needs in this community, and the opportunities for our church to join with the community to make a difference, he identified a potential location for the new church – a former school building which is for sale and listed at $1.6 million.
Through those months of prayer, talking with our elders and staff, and connecting with leaders in that neighboring community, the burden grew stronger and our pastor knew we had to do it.
That’s why he made the vision public a week ago Sunday, and asked the congregation to pray for God to provide the resources to make the vision a reality.
The God Who Gives the Vision Makes the Provision
This past weekend, our lead pastor said he had a story to share about a miracle that changed our church, and his leadership, forever.
He went on to explain that on the previous Sunday when he made the announcement about our new satellite venue, a couple approached him after that meeting and said they had to see him sometime soon this week, because they felt God stirring within them and wanting them to be a part of this new venture.
They met last Wednesday and the couple revealed that they sold a business last fall and had already committed a specific amount of money from the proceeds that they wanted to give to the church, but they didn’t have any idea whether they should just give it for the general budget or for a specific project.
They explained that while the pastor was talking about the potential new venue site during the church meeting, the wife whispered to the husband…
“You watch and see if he mentions a dollar amount. I think it’ll be exactly what we’ve set aside to give.”
A moment later in that meeting, our pastor did share that the building they were looking at as a potential site was for sale for $1.6 million.
And the couple was awestruck because that was the exact amount they had already set aside three months ago to give to the church!
So, as they were explaining all of this to the pastor last Wednesday, they handed him a check for $1.6 million to help our church launch that new venue this fall.
I’m crying as I’m writing this.
And I think everyone in church cried when our lead pastor shared this story over the weekend.
Because we were all reminded once again that…
The God who gives the vision is the same God who makes the provision.
6 Lessons Learned About God’s Provision
As I’ve reflected on this situation – this miracle – over the past few days, a few lessons have popped out at me which coincide with several points Mark Batterson made in a book he wrote on prayer called “Draw the Circle.” Here they are:
1. The God who gives the vision is the same God who makes the provision. But to unlock the blessing, we need to step into the flow.
Before God makes provision for the vision, we’ve got to accept the vision, submit to it, and be willing to take steps forward in it. I wonder…
“How many times have I been waiting on God to make the next move, while all along He’s been waiting on me?”
3. Nothing is too big or small for God to do
As Batterson says, “To the Infinite, all finites are the same.” God can do the $1.6 million miracle just as easily as the $10 one.
4. God always has a holy surprise up his sovereign sleeve
When we work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God, anything can happen.
5. If we do the little things like they are big things, then God will do the big things like they are little things.
I’m reminded of all the “risks” our church has taken to be true to the vision God has given us to be a place where all people, regardless of skin color or pocketbook status, can feel welcomed and belong, and experience real people, real love and real life. And since this new venue will simply be an extension of that already God-blessed vision, why wouldn’t God want to bless that too?
6. Sometimes God shows up, and sometimes He shows off
I’m grateful that our lead pastor took action on the vision God gave him for this new chapter of ministry for our church. And I’m thankful to God for showing up, showing off, and showing us anew that anything can happen, nothing is impossible, and that He can do more than we can ever ask or think.
Is there a God-given vision burning inside of you that you’re waiting on God for? What if He’s waiting for you to make the next move?
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