One Year Later

It came so quickly that we forgot to mention it. One year ago we launched weekly worship at 701 Whaley not sure if we could make it one week and positive we would throw a parade if we survived one year. Even though we worked hard for eleven months prior to the first service telling the story of Downtown Church and inviting people to join us for the journey, I was scared nobody would come after the initial excitement faded. People did show up, and many of them are still here.

I'm writing this at 12:00 a.m. in my office downtown. Tomorrow is Friday and I promised I'd take my son and daughter to the museum. I don't always work this late but after one year of worship, I am learning that Sunday comes quickly, consistently, and is ignorant of my plans to take my kids to the museum. So tonight I'll work a little late in order to be present for my kids. They are growing up as fast as Downtown Church.

Over the last six weeks an average of 220 people attended worship each Sunday. To put that in perspective, before we launched worship we wrote a mission plan that anticipated an average of 250 people in our fifth year of worship. I didn't have the faith to pray for anything more and in this case it didn't matter.

The temptation to take credit for something you didn't have the courage to anticipate in prayer is pervasive. It is also dangerous. As soon as you assume responsibility, you also begin to believe that the dream will end if you stop hustling, working, and grinding. The truth is, we've made mistakes that couldn't have been avoided if we worked around the clock. Over the past year we missed opportunities, preached poorly, stumbled through the launch of programs, and forgot to celebrate our first anniversary.

In spite of our inexperience and lack of faith, God hasn't replaced us with more seasoned church planters. One year later, we are still here; a little wiser, more receptive to taking a day off, and less inclined to believe that God can't make it happen without us. So tomorrow I'm going to take the afternoon off and go to the museum. If ten people come to church on Sunday, my kids won't know the difference.

Happy belated birthday Downtown Church. Somebody say Amen.