POW! BAM! and also OOF! Our summer turning to fall is resulting in multiple greatest hits! There has been a great time of building for Mountainside over the summer as a lot of our college students stayed in Boone over summer, and as children’s ministry had an awesome VBS! We also had a hit to us with the loss of a relative (Sherri’s mom passed away) and a dear, key family moving to Asheboro (we will miss you, Miller family).
But as we end summer, school starts, and the fall begins, we are coming into a full season. We have three solid small groups, with one ready to reproduce a fourth. We have the beginnings of a youth group ready to start some added frequency of meeting Sunday nights with adult volunteers. We have a women’s bible study starting this fall, two men’s mentoring groups, two young adult mentoring cores, and a full house on Sunday mornings at Galileo’s—our Sunday venue. We have a leadership community meeting every other month, and men praying for the church (yes, I said men praying)! Every month we take one Sunday to set aside for prayer and worship alone with people breaking into groups to pray for one another—what a time of connection and confessing our needs! Every month with a fifth Sunday we set aside, to let our service be our worship (Sept 29, we’re going to feed 5,000)! With the School of Mentoring & Art there is now an offering of 16 different courses this fall semester with new mentors and coaches!
Yet at the same time we are full, we are fragile—so needy and dependent upon the Lord’s presence and provision. Just two or three families not present because of sickness or vacations can make us so weak on a Sunday. A morning where me or Isaac don’t lean fully upon the Lord can lead to a “Spirit-less” message or worship time. Financially, we are still trying to get our toddler sized legs under this growing body (the congregation currently only meets 60% of our monthly budget) to stand up on it’s own without outside support by the end of the year. If my family (the McCready), has two members or more, out because of sickness, we scramble for available leadership (we had to cancel our Back to School event with a family memorial service).
We are weak; but we are not afraid! In our weakness, Christ delights to make us strong (II Cor. 12:9)! There is a certain delight for me (Shannon) when we are in this full but fragile state, because our full weight is upon Jesus! In fact, it’s the message we are sharing with our congregation—pisteuo, being the Greek for our word believe. In more literal translation, it means to put your full weight upon, or in our slang to say, “I’m all-in!”. For every believer ( a pisteuo-er?), we are training ourselves to be able to say wholeheartedly:
I AM PART OF THE FAMILY (which means I am loved)
I AM PART OF THE MISSION (which means I am sent)
I AM PART OF THE BIGGER PICTURE (which means I am being changed)
In the fullness and fragile-ness, we are putting our full weight upon these truths based in the Word of God. No matter the circumstances these things are true about us. No matter if we’re with provision or without, these things are true about us. No matter if we are making our punches count, or if we are taking a hit, these things are true about us. If we can see ahead or we can’t even see to take the next step, these things are still true about us. God the Father is working out his universal purposes of expanding his family, working our formation to the Son’s likeness, and spreading His fame—knowing Him is life! “ ‘Not by might, but by my Spirit’, says the Lord Almighty” (Zech 4:6). We are following Jesus without any map, compass, or path because HE our map, our compass, and our path! ALL-IN, BABY!
—Delighted to be weak so He can be strong,