Every once in a while I remember I have a blog, then consider burying it in its blog-grave, then think of one more thing I would like “say” before I do!
We had our annual business meeting at Grace Fellowship Church last night and that gave cause to reflect on the last year of our church’s life.
One year ago, I read our folks John 12:24 and suggested this would be the basis to the next year or so as we planned to send off a part of us to plant another church.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
I asked our folks to ponder, “How does it feel to die?” That was a real question, since we sent out 26 members (plus their kids and some “attenders”) over the last 12 months. For a church of our size that is a pretty huge hit – basically one third of our membership. We also went through some other pruning and trials that made this past year one of the most difficult we have yet to experience.
But then I looked through that list of 26 names again and do you know what I saw? Sent out from our little church in one year were 3 pastors, 2 deacons, 2 lead worshipers, 2 missionaries, 1 pastoral assistant and 16 solid members spread out to churches like Grace Fellowship Church East, New City Baptist, Harvest Durham, and a couple of others. What a blessing!
On top of this was the added surprise that the Lord added to our membership 24 new people – just two shy of the number who were sent out. We had hoped to grow again, but did not expect it to come so soon.
So now Grace Fellowship Church is a new church. There is a new core, a new vibe and the same old Gospel. Toronto continues to grow with people from all over the world and a bunch of our church were here on Saturday to take that glorious Gospel to whomever happened to be waiting at a nearby bus stop.
I love His church.