We Are Launched!
Your Church +Portland has officially launched! We plowed through almost 2 feet of snow and a half inch of ice on the roads to start our church, but we did it. This past Sunday the Bar & Grill was willing to stay open for us, when most every other business was closed, so that we could have service – and service we did. We started just after 5pm with an array of incredible appetizers and a total of 20 people. I kicked off the night with the welcome, our band of 3 sang two songs, I spoke for about 10 minutes sharing the vision and my heart, then Garrett wrapped it up with some announcements and offering. It really was a great night for our church and it is exciting to officially be underway.
Nobody could have foreseen such a snowstorm that apparently hits once a decade. Of course I had mixed emotions because I love a good snowstorm – but this storm was unbelievable. It was unfortunate that it hit on our weekend of launch, as so many people never left their homes – which hurt the advertising we did. But to postpone the service, even if one person walked through the door, would have been devastating to me. To say we had a total of 20 people, including all of us and our visitors was all worth it! We got to meet some precious new people who not only gave in our offering, but filled out comment cards promising to be back next week! I was a happy pastor by the end of the evening. The restaurant gave us enough appetizers to feed 50 people and amazingly it only took 20 mouths to devour it all! I think everyone, including our team, was happy to be there. We successfully fulfilled our church mission that every service includes 3 elements; fun (enjoyment), fellowship and faith. Let the work of the gospel begin! From here on out we will spend each week preaching the Good News and meeting new people.
I look back over the past year and everything God has been preparing us for, and I thank God for vision – eyes to see things from His perspective. We have faced a lot of challenges to get to this place, and a lot of changes to my thinking. No, this church-start doesn’t look anything like I had pictured it – but it looks exactly like the perspective God had given me! I am reminded of an encouraging word one of our launch team members sent us the other day regarding starting small. It said, “real faith works and believes big, but you must be willing to start small. How do you dig a ditch? Take your shovel and hit the ground one shovel at a time. Believe big – start small.” That defines us doesn’t it? We all have to take our shovel and start digging where we are at – and the Lord will fill the rest!
We will keep you updated on our progress! Keep us in your prayers as often as you think of us. It’s a new day!