Sunday sure was an incredible day at Renovation, wasn’t it?
In reflecting back, I’m amazed, though maybe I shouldn’t necessarily be surprised. Remember one of Pastor Kyle’s favorite verses?
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
But that’s the way our God works. He is able to do so much more than we can imagine. More than we can dream. More than we can ask. He is more than able to meet any need we have. Any dream that’s in line with His will, He is simply able to blow away our expectations.
That was the lesson God apparently wanted me to learn Sunday. Maybe most of our Renovation core. Maybe even everyone that was there, and everyone that hears about it.
You see, we held a team meeting before church Sunday morning. Our main focus?
Pastor Kyle led us to pray over all of the chairs we had set up in our sanctuary. He led us to ask God to fill them. He led us to ask God to ensure everyone that needed to be at Renovation was there. He led us to ask God to move in people’s lives.
And we prayed. There were probably fifteen of us there, going from chair to chair. Six chairs on each side, twelve chairs per row. Seven rows. Eighty-four chairs total.
Now, most church growth literature says that 75% capacity is about the maximum that’s comfortable for a congregation. And that’s about how we’ve planned our week-to-week setup: eighty-four chairs, enough for sixty-some people comfortably.
God sent one hundred.
Talk about abundantly more than all that we ask! One hundred was almost a verbal, “YES!” from heaven.
“YES! I want to work through Renovation Church.”
“YES! I want you to have big dreams for the people I send your way.”
“YES! I want you to step out in faith.”
“YES! I want to use Renovation to reach St. Joseph.”
Every now and then, churches need encouragement. Church leadership needs encouragement. Church members need encouragement. People struggling to make a decision about whether a church should be their home need encouragement.
I think we were at that point at Renovation.
We’re growing. We have needs as a church. We have more people than we can fit into our existing Community Groups. We have youth, children, parents of all ages, young married couples… probably more groups that we haven’t even begun to identify. That in itself ought to be encouraging!
And now we’re stepping out in faith, trying to TRIPLE our Community Groups from two to six in less than two months to meet the needs of our church and our community.
Do we know how God’s going to make it happen?
Well, we have a few ideas. We can use the earthly wisdom we’ve accrued over the years. Identify leaders. Make a checklist of stuff that needs to be done. Try to plan it out as best we can.
But honestly, our plans are probably inadequate.
Because God exceeds our hopes and dreams when He answers prayers.
So back to one hundred. It’s not the number that’s the big deal. We don’t EVER want to be just about numbers. One hundred is a big deal because it was God, answering prayer in a way that only He can. It was God, exceeding our hopes and dreams.
Let’s run with that. Let’s take this huge shot of encouragement God gave us Sunday and dream together about our future. Let’s pray for God to do His thing and move us in the direction we need to go. Let’s petition Him to meet the needs we have. Let’s ask Him to do more than we can imagine.
He is ready and able.
[NOTE: This post originally appeared on the Renovation Voices section of the Renovation Church website. I serve as an elder at Renovation, and write fairly regularly on topics relevant to our church as a member and leader there.]
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