Rebuilding a church is not for the faint of heart.
As my family began exploring the idea of coming to serve at Coastline we knew the church had been through a difficult season. I actually connected with a pastor in town and talked with him about the church. He told me the pain. Shared the division. I think he even said: "I wouldn't wish that church on my best friend." I know his best friend! But to me it sounded like a challenge that God was inviting us to take part in. The funny thing is he even said something to the effect of: "Now that I've said that, I'm sure you think it's a challenge."
Rebuilding a church has been one of the greatest challenges and greatest blessings in ministry. The people at Coastline have loved and embraced my family in such unique, special, and meaningful ways. The church walked with us through the loss of my dad, the loss of my stepdad, and the trails with my mom.
But rebuilding a church is not for the faint of heart.
In May of 2018 we had to try something new. The room we hold our worship services in can seat 350+ and we had been running around 200. We were testing a pilot version of two identical worship gatherings and needed something to get people sitting closer together. My ideas was to use ropes to require people to sit closer to the front of the room. It would help eliminate large gaps between people.
The decision wasn't rash. Our staff had talked through multiple ideas.
Our Elders processed the idea.
Our staff and elders helped me put up the ropes and try different versions of the idea.
Then we got this note in the offering
I will be the first to say that it was discouraging. But it was also encouraging.
Rub your eyes and read that line again, you heard me right.
How I read the note is this: "I hate your ropes. I'll be leaving the ch...."
It seems the person was so mad that they couldn't even finish the sentence. I knew we were doing something right though. We needed to not just physically move at Coastline, but we needed to spiritually move. Hate is not a fruit of the Spirit (please read Galatians 5). God was, and still is, doing a new thing at Coastline. He used the ropes to push us in different ways.
If God has called you to rebuild a church, keep rebuilding. Keep moving forward with the vision He has given you. It is your responsibility to follow that vision.