A few years ago I made my first trip to Marion with a couple of our leaders to see what our possible options might be, but it just wasn't time yet. The opportunity we had we could have made work, but was just too many challenges/draw backs. God had other plans and a different time table for us.
About a month ago, things started moving and moving quickly. A launch pastor was identified and leaders started jumping on board. All of a sudden our January start date was moved to Oct. 21!
Normally this would stress me out and I'd question the decision to hurry this up so much. But, it was different. Often it can feel like we are pushing God along instead of walking beside Him. This time it felt like we were barely holding onto the tail of his rob he was moving so fast! There's much more freedom and joy found in keeping up with God instead of pushing Him along.
Soon we were on our way to Marion to meet with their leaders before their first preview service. You could feel and sense the excitement and anticipation. Everyone was guessing on how many people would show up... 150, 200, 300!
Thankfully, we had a small army to help set up. And they were the best kind of volunteers... the kind that are happy to help, but just as happy to hang out with one another. You could tell they enjoyed simply being around each other and serving together.
The trailer pull in right on schedule and we immediately get to work. I secretly love mobile church. It's a lot of work, but there are so many awesome, generally unseen benefits to it....
Mobile church can reorientate people's vision that THEY are the church and not the building. The church is a group of people and not an event you attend or place you go. Mobile church can better serve the community since funds aren't used on a building and it's upkeep. Mobile church forces some to hear the gospel cause it's their job (ie. the guys who work at the school, the convention center, the hotel and would never, ever step foot into our church building). Mobile church can provide a means of community and serving together during set up and tear down. But, mobile church can only do these things if the leaders and pastors believe it can. If you as a leader don't think you are a 'real' church until you have a building you'll slowing lead your people on a mission for a church building. Then you get that church building and your time and your people's time is taken out of the community and into your building to renovate it and to clean it and to fix it.*
Okay... off soap box.
Soon, this empty ballroom became a worship center. It was beautiful!
|Setting up chairs for the 170 people that would attend|
*This makes me sound like I'm against all church buildings, I'm not. My church owns several and are looking for more. Sometimes a building is needed. The mess and tension and weight of setting up/tearing down every single week becomes too much. However, I believe too often we look towards the building to be the solution to the tension and problems we experience. Yet, we can look at those and find creative ways to pastor people and/or fix the problems without needing a building.