My whole life was preparing me for this
It's late saturday night and I should probably be sleeping. Especially with how big of a day tomorrow is. But I can't stop thinking about the significance of this moment. It's that point when you know your world is about pivot into a new reality. It's excitement, nerves, anticipation, fear and faith all swirling in my mind at once.
This is a brain dump of jumbled thoughts. I want to record it as a time capsule of what was in my heart before Voice Church was a reality.
I don't know what tomorrow holds but I do know what it marks. It's a starting line to the next chapter in our lives. It's the culmination of over a year of dreaming, struggling, praying, believing, hoping and planning. So many times it seemed impossible.
I remember when I was hiking up to Everest Base Camp one year ago and felt the undeniable call from God to start a new church in Orange County. I thought it was crazy. I still think it's crazy. But I knew it was right. I knew God would be with us. More than that. I felt like my whole life had been preparing me for this. From my family upbringing to my ethnicity to my ministry background. I always felt like a generalist. Not great at any one thing but somewhat competant in many areas. I always thought that was a deficit, but it has been priceless on this journey.
I remember the first interest meeting we had at our house and there were too many people. Way more than we thought. People were sitting on the kitchen counters. It was humbling to see people want to get involved.
I remember when I felt God gave us very clear direction on what the church would be called and working on a logo with the amazing Josh Hunt. It was real now. It was out there. Here goes nothing.
I remember the overwhelming feeling as we looked at our fundraising goal and felt like David looking up to Goliath. It seemed impossible but God did what He does best and support came out of the craziest places.
I remember people reaching out on facebook, instagram, email and even yelp to find out more info about us. Little by little, people joined the team.
I remember driving up and down practically every street in Tustin looking for a location and coming up short. I journaled that night and wrote "I don't know where we're going to meet. We have no options. Our dream is to meet at the Community Center at the Marketplace but they don't rent to churches so that'll never happen." Then God gave us another miracle and opened the door for us there.
I remember trying our very best to make it difficult for people to leave their churches to join ours. We so didn't want to cause a mass exodus or church split. We didn't want Voice to start with bitter people. We told many people "no" and encouraged them to make it work at their current church. But I remember how gossip still happened. A few rumors were spread without asking us for the facts. We brushed it off but it still hurt.
I remember story after story after story of lives that God was already impacting on the launch team. I kept thinking, "Isn't this supposed to happen after we start services?" And God kept reminding me that it's He that changes lives, not church services. He can impact people without lights, sermons and worship bands. And He did. Over and over again. So many times hearing stories through tears of how God had completely changed individuals, couples and even entire families since they joined the team.
And now, in just a few hours, we launch Voice Church for real. The team is prepared. The equipment is purchased. The visitor gifts are prepped. Our faith is high.
I picture the Father on front porch waiting for the prodigals. Well, get the party started because Sept 16th, 2018 is a great day to come home.