Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I realized something this week: I am a very arrogant person. For years, I heard people talk about how having kids is hard work and how it changes everything and makes the smallest tasks a challenge. I listened, I internalized, and I followed the thought in my own head with, “I’m sure they’re right, but I’m equally sure I can handle it.” A thought to which I would now like to publicly say, “HA - you foolish, foolish girl!”
Clark and I love being parents, but we are definitely realizing how hard it is and how much our lives have changed. We have always been thankful for our family, our friends and our church, but suddenly their presence in our lives means so much more. We would be drowning without all of the support, encouragement and prayers.
All of this reflection has led me to two thoughts in relation to the church plant:

#1 – How do people who do not have faith in God and a church family make it from day to day? There are far too many people and families living right next door to us who do not have these things we would consider cornerstones of our lives. I can only imagine the struggle, the frustration, and the anxiety that must be present. At the end of a long day when the kids are sick and the bills aren’t paid and the job situation is precarious at best, where do people outside of the Church of Jesus Christ turn for hope?
We need to be passionate and get fired up about spreading the love of Jesus Christ in Summerville. We need to be serious about reaching out and going places we’ve never gone before to make Jesus Christ known and offer people an opportunity to know life in Him. We need to take seriously our call to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are sharing hospitality and caring for our neighbors as God cares for us in our day-to-day lives.

#2 – For this church plant to be successful, it’s going to take everyone! I can’t do it alone, nor should I try. It would be arrogant to say the least to assume that this is my mission and my church and I am capable of doing the hard work on my own. To begin with, it is God’s Church – always has been, always will be. Yet amazingly, God has called us as Bethany United Methodist Church to be about this mission and everyone has a gift to offer and a role to play. For some, that role is prayer warrior for others that role is small group leader, for others that role is new member of Ashley Ridge Church and the list goes on and on.

There is much more to talk about and share. I would like to invite EVERYONE to come out on Thursday, April 16 at 5:30pm for an evening of pizza, fellowship, conversation and prayer about Ashley Ridge Church. Bring your questions, bring your ideas – bring your neighbor or co-worker – and come. A nursery will be available and we want to encourage you to make this evening a family event. See you there!

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