... but not where I usually go.
No, my car didn't turn into the middle school's parking lot like it has for the past two and a half years. Instead, it drove another block down the road and turned into the high school parking lot. For that is where Harvest Community, my church home, now meets.
It has been an amazing journey watching our little start-up church grow. It was started in the summer of 2005 by the discipleship pastor from our previous church. He felt God's calling to start a church in southeast Aurora and he was obedient to that calling.
It started with just a handful of people. They first met in a local library on Thursday nights. They went through the book of Acts more as a Bible study than a worship service. By the October, they had secured a meeting room in another church for a Saturday night service. It was still a very small group of people. Don and I visited the church a few times in each location but continued to church shop and frequent our home church. We knew we wanted something different. We just didn't know where God wanted us.
A month or so before Easter, in 2006, the pastor felt God telling him he needed to move his church to another location - a specific location, and by Easter. It was a mad dash, but the middle school was secured and all the logistics were worked out by Easter Sunday. I wasn't there, but I've been told it was a real celebration.
When the pastor started the church, he asked Don and I to come aboard as the youth directors. We visited but didn't feel that's what God wanted for us at the time. Thus, we had to tell the pastor that and kept looking. A month or two after the church had been meeting in the school, we received a call from the children's ministry pastor. He gave us an update on the church, told us they were starting to get kids who were in jr. and sr. high, and asked if we'd consider joining the church and ministering the the youth.
It was the right time. We knew this from what was going on in our lives and in our hearts at that time. We didn't audibly hear God's voice, but we knew this was from Him and this is where He wanted us. Our first Sunday with the youth group was Father's Day.
We enjoyed every minute being the youth directors for this small church, but that doesn't mean there weren't times of concern for the size of the group and the size of the church. Seems like every time we gained a family, we'd lose another, if not two. There was even a time when we were all concerned that the church wouldn't make it. But God is faithful, and slowly the church has grown.
So much so, that it became apparent that we were outgrowing our little cafeteria used for the service, and the hallways used for the children's and youth ministries. I will have to write another post on how the high school became an option for us. It is truly a story of faithfulness on everyone's part.
But today we celebrated the fact that God has brought more of his children to our church and provided a larger place for us to worship and enjoy fellowship with each other. Thank you dear Lord. May you continue to bless us as we continue to praise you and seek your will.
"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." ~Deuteronomy 7:9