When Disruption Builds Something Beautiful
With the canceling of in-person Sunday morning worship gatherings in March, our church began offering online worship experiences. While these experiences provided a great time of worship for our family, my wife and I began to long for the fellowship and community of other believers. Once we began to see gatherings may be canceled for an extended period of time, we began to pray for God to show us a way we could be the church with those around us. We felt the Holy Spirit guiding us to gather those on our street who were interested in coming together to worship, pray, and explore God’s Word. We called it “Street Church.” We stole the name from another group we heard about meeting on the other side of town. We started meeting at the end of June in our front yard.
While we felt led by the Spirit to start something on our street, much of our drive was a personal desire to be with and worship with other believers again. We didn’t know what God would do; we simply knew we wanted to be together! Our goal was to keep everything simple and remain focused on three things: praying for one another, worshipping in some way, and reading and processing God’s Word together. The first Sunday we were so nervous. Would anyone show up? Would they like it? Would they come back? Though my wife and I have led in churches for over 20 years, it seems our insecurities still have a way of creeping in when we focus on ourselves instead of our Savior! He brought together a group of people who love Jesus and who are at different points in their faith journeys. God began to remind us of the power of the bride of Christ, His church.
We have seen God do beautiful things. As we have continued to meet, we have had people from many different church experiences gathering together to be the church on our street. We have seen multiple generations sharing their faith with one another and encouraging each other to love Jesus more. We have prayed for those among us struggling with health issues. We have prayed for those on our street who don’t know Jesus. We have seen the depth of community on our street increase as we begin to understand one another and care deeply for one another.
It’s not perfect, but neither are we. Sometimes a kid yells out something random. Sometimes a dump truck loudly drives by when someone is sharing their heart. Sometimes I mow the yard the night before, and we all have shoes covered in wet grass clippings. The beauty is not in our perfection. It is in our recognition of our imperfection. It is in us believing who God says we are and not what the world says we should be. It is in a group of imperfect people committing together in a particular place to love Jesus and make disciples. Through all of this, God has shown me his love for His bride. He will not let her die. I am further convinced that Christ has built his church and “the gates of hell [or Covid] shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, ESV).
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