God Can

3 08 2011

I first studied the book of Nehemiah near the end of my seminary education while reading the book, Visioneering by Andy Stanley.  I vividly remember reading about Nehemiah’s boldness and willingness to risk everything for the vision God had given him in our “on call” room as a hospital chaplain.  I asked God to give me that kind of courage and more importantly, a vision worth risking everything for.  A few months afterwards, I was appointed to start a new church in the Champaign-Urbana area.

Nearly nine years later, Quest is approaching her seventh birthday and we’re studying the book of Nehemiah for the first time as a church family. Over the years, God has given us a vision to reach out to the unchurched people in our community, and over the years, Questers have sacrificed significantly in order to do so.  We have experienced ups and downs which remind me of some of the obstacles and opposition that Nehemiah faced when rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  Some of our biggest obstacles have revolved around being a nomadic church – that is, a church without permanent worship facilities which not only serve as a tool for more creatively sharing Christ’s love through worship, but also serve as a consistent visible reminder of our ministry in the community.  Despite those obstacles, Questers have united together around the vision of sharing the love of God with our community.  And as a result, over 200 people of all ages now call Quest their church home, and over 50 people have surrendered their lives to Christ, forever changing their eternal residence.  Furthermore, God has used Questers to make a lasting impact in our community and around the world. God has been so good to us!

But God is not done with us yet.  He has given us a big vision which will require us to be stretched time and time again for the sake of sharing his love with more and more people.  Just yesterday, a mentor of mine reminded me that, “If God’s call on your life seems manageable to you, it isn’t God’s calling.”  That’s so true.  God has invited us to be his hands and feet.  He has given us a task that is impossible without him.  The more faithful we are, the more challenging the task will seem, and the more we will have to depend on God.  That is how God molds us and shapes us into wholehearted followers of Jesus.  Certainly, following God is not for the faint of heart, because God has never called us to play it safe.

Over the last several months, Quest’s leadership team has discerned God’s leading us to become a more visible presence in the community by moving our office location to a highly trafficked area on Windsor Road, a stone’s throw from where we worship at Next Generation School.  The purpose of this move is to connect with more people in our area and invite them to experience the love of God in the Quest community.  On some levels this move seems daunting, even risky.  It will increase our monthly expenses significantly.  But where we can’t, God Can.  All he calls us to do is be faithful to his call and be willing to risk everything for his vision.  Please pray for Quest!  We are in the middle of an exciting time where God is giving us the opportunity to risk our comfort for the sake of reaching out to people who are far from him.  Amazingly, that is what I prayed for God to do nine years ago in a hospital room!

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