“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin...”
( Zechariah 4:10 )
5 years ago this week, I was the only staff member of a 9-month-old church start-up.
My worship pastor had just quit and moved back to Florida.
We were meeting in a local elementary school as a portable church stuck at 60 people.
I was angry, discouraged, and our baby church was homeless.
A phone call completely out-of-the-blue from a Lydia of Thyatira (see Acts 16) led to a walk-thru of this former golf store in the shadow of Freeland, Michigan.
Golf Mania had been in and out of bankruptcy for years.
The latest owner had grown so frustrated at the lack of customers plus mounting bills that he abruptly locked up the facility one day and walked away, never looking back.
Bankruptcy is a funny thing: everything in Golf Mania was frozen in time.
The show room was still stocked with expensive golf gear.
It was quiet, musty, and cluttered.
Receipts were strewn everywhere from freshly-fired employees who never bothered to clean up.
When you train to become a church start-up specialist, you are skilled at always seeing the potential in every problem.
The facility and furniture were exquisite.
I couldn’t believe this facility was just sitting here unused!
This facility was chock full of potential!
The facility tour was in December of 2013.
It would take eleven long, drawn-out-months before we could begin gathering inside the old Golf Mania.
2014 was a year of vision-casting to a dwindling audience, pleading with the Landlords to take a risk on our church start-up, never taking No for an answer with city officials concerned about Zoning, and intense fundraising.
I could have given up.
I felt like giving up.
Yet I didn’t.
“God’s word: Dig ditches all over this desert valley. Here’s what will happen—you won’t hear the wind, you won’t see the rain, but this valley is going to fill up with water and your army and your animals will drink their fill. This is easy for God to do!” (2 Kings 3)
The word IMPOSSIBLE is NOT in God’s vocabulary!
If He has called you to it, He will see you through it!
Do not despise the days of small beginnings.
Do not give up when you are in the very situations that are ripe for a miracle of God.
Once we opened the doors on a 24/7 leased facility (it was a huge step of faith; we could not afford the monthly rent at that point and I was scared!), the floodgates of blessings were poured out.
People started showing up.
Lives starting changing.
The facility was simply a tool for ministry… and our perseverance was paying off.
We were praying for God to fill our worship space in 3 years…
…and He literally did it in just 3 months!
Never give up.
Kill the doubts in your head before the Liar kills the dream in your heart.
Sir Winston Churchill said it best…
The great day finally arrived, and after the school's fanfare and acclamation, Sir Winston Churchill stood to his feet, acknowledged the introduction, and gave the following address, which is quoted in full:
'Young men, never give up.
Never give up!
Never give up!!
Never, never, never-never-never-never!'"
90% of American churches are plateaued or declining.
I want to help you beat the stats.
Let’s quickly reach people far from God.