Dear Confluence Church,
I hope you are all doing well this evening. Been thinking a lot about you these last couple of days, and I thought I’d drop a line. Mostly a thank-you letter, with a few extras sprinkled in.
First, I have to say that these two months that my wife, son, and I have been a part of your fellowship have been a significant blessing to us. Although we miss our home church three hours north of here, we feel like we’ve discovered new family here. Operating as a house church has its unique challenges; however, it also has it’s unique privileges. While I’m still adjusting to life without pews, I am gladly soaking in the sense of earnest community.
My wife told me the other day that a great tag line for Confluence Church would be, “More Than Just Church.” She is absolutely right! When I walk through the door (or host our meetings at our house), I don’t feel like I need to put on any kind of front. Whether I’m in a great mood or crummy one, whether I’m tired, depressed, or ridiculously joyful, I feel warmly embraced by people who are also not wearing masks. Whether I preach well or lay a goose egg, whether I’m coherent or not, you all are so incredibly accepting and loving.
One thing that earnest community does is celebrate together the victories and cry together in the defeats. In these short two months, we’ve had opportunities to come alongside hurting people, mentor challenging pre-teen boys, encourage fathers, support overwhelmed college students, bless busy families, and get to know new friends who are just kind of floating by.
Confluence Friends, you’ve been a real encouragement to me spiritually. How refreshing it’s been to take a month off of planned or programmed times together! Instead, our times of deliberate prayer and worship have been amazing! We’ve been able to get to know each other quickly, and we’ve been able to seek God’s will for our small fellowship. And yes, I do mean fellowship in the biblical sense. Not just “get together and goof around,” like most people define “fellowship.” I mean “partnership” together. We’ve been a fledgling church on a mission. A mission to:
**Seek God’s face
**Understand God’s Word together
**Build unity and community together
**Devote ourselves to good teaching, partnership, eating together, and praying together.
Regardless of what we look like in five years in terms of size, location, or format, I pray that we don’t lose this part of our identity. If we do, then we need to put on the brakes and move on to church b, c, or d. Stay committed to what God has shown you to be thus far. You are a beautiful, organic thing, Confluence Church.
Here are a couple of things I’d like to encourage you with.
**Don’t be afraid to do this stop-the-presses-and-pray-for-a-month thing OFTEN. Our regularly scheduled programming can just wait. 😉
**Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. God may ask us to reach out to a particular group of people we don’t know well, or He may want us to move beyond our ecclesiastical, church preferences. More hymns, more worship choruses, more electric guitar, more banjo, more cowbell, more drama, more dance, more food, more time. God could ask us to have more or less of anything. Let’s let Him lead…
**Don’t be afraid to be bold. As we become a light in our neighborhoods and in our town, we will be called to say things that aren’t very popular. We can’t shrink back. And we can’t be shy when it comes to sharing the truths of the Bible with each other.
**Don’t be afraid of the extremes. One day God may show us that Confluence was just for a short season and ask us to all to move on to other fellowships. OR He may have bigger plans for our church, and call us to expand our family by hundreds or maybe thousands. Trust God for direction and the courage to move that way.
**Don’t be afraid to fail. We could make some well-intentioned decisions and do some things that just fall flat. That’s okay. God’s still on His throne and He’ll never go on vacation or lose our file. He’s got us covered.
Thank you for letting God use you all to impact my life. God’s goodness is evident, and His Spirit is alive and working in each of you. Don’t quit!
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7
Thanks for taking a moment to hear me out. Until we see each other again soon-
All the Way Home,
p.s. Thanks for all the coffee.