When we are finding our direction through uncharted waters, we get oriented by looking at the north star to keep going. Last week I talked about the process of wayfinding. Yet what is our north star at Wellspring? What are the core convictions that God has called us toward? Today I want to reflect on a few key convictions that have oriented me as we have come this far. Over the next few weeks, I will unpack some of the insights that I received from our time together as a board.
First, Christ builds his church (Matt 16:18). We don’t build the church; Jesus does. We confess Jesus as Christ, surrendering to Jesus one day at a time, and He leads us step by step. As we move down, it is as if we are walking down a large suspension bridge swaying over a gorge, yet the steps of the bridge are being laid before us as we step out. We do not have an air-tight, step-by-step plan for the next ten years. Instead we are day by day confessing Jesus as Lord who gives wisdom for the next step ahead. After our meeting on Saturday, I felt overwhelmed at the complexity of issues to address. Yet as the weight of the challenges forced my knees to bow in prayer, I received insight into our situation and confident strength in my heart. Christ builds his church, and we follow Him one step at a time.
Also, a divided nation can only be healed by a united church. We were led to this merge as we concluded that we were better together to reach the diversity of our area. This year’s election highlighted the deep divisions within our nation and the church of America along generational and racial lines. These divisions can only be healed by the unity of our church. The power of the Christ can unite us across lines of division, and this has been seen in many different ways as we have discussed earlier. Just as multiple small steps of obedience brought the Moabitess Ruth to unite with the Israelite Boaz to raise up David to lead the nation, so we have been brought together from different backgrounds in unity to bless our nation and world.
Third, we are to be an epicenter of prayer, vision, strategy and evangelism. We bless the nations around us as we kneel before the Father. Psalm 40:1–3 shows how “many will see and hear and put their trust in the Lord” as we cry out to the Lord from the miry pit and encounter his deliverance. The first work we did together as a merged church was to pray. Prayer expands our vision of Jesus to become greater than our vision for Jesus, and from this vision of Jesus we can gain insight and strategy to address the fears and burdens we carry. This strategy ignites evangelism and outreach to those around us.
Finally, we are to be a basecamp for world mission. The Holy Spirit is poured out in power for our witness across the street and around the world (Acts 1:8). We are raising up workers for the fields that are ripe unto harvest (Matt 9:37). Recently in prayer I deeply sensed how God is raising up people in our midst who are going to bring explosions of God’s presence among many different nations in the world. What a joy! The outpouring of his Spirit in our midst is not just for our enjoyment, but its power propels us into the brokenness of our nation and all nations.
These are just a few convictions that God has laid on my heart in bringing us together. I’m sure that you have many others. When the difficulties of transition cause you to wonder where we are going, let us look back to the north star of the convictions that have brought us thus far. When we forget these types of convictions, we become overwhelmed by the reality of the challenges; the Israelites forgot the promises of God in Canaan when they grumbled in the wilderness! However, convictions like these will lead us through the challenges of transition as we step into the fulfillment of God’s promise.