A few Saturday evenings ago, I was grilling up some burgers and hotdogs for our weekly Table gathering. I was greatly anticipating eating, sharing, singing, and learning together with friends over the next couple of hours. I knew what I had prepared for that night. It was going to take every bit of the 2 hours to accomplish the event. Then it happened…
Just to give you a little background…during the months of March and April we learned all about how to be great neighbors. For the past 2 months, the house next to ours was being remodeled. Then it was for rent. Then it wasn’t.
…At exactly 6:00pm on that Saturday night, a moving truck pulled into the house next door. As I was fighting through the smoke from the grill to finish up the burgers, I looked over to our new neighbor’s driveway and saw a blue Table shirt…then I saw another. Immediately, the guys from The Table went next door and unloaded our new neighbor’s possessions. As I look back on my experiences from an established church setting, I can’t think of a time when service times were ever pushed back to help a neighbor. As I joined in on the impromptu moving party, I had a chance to meet our awesome new neighbor and her fourth grade son.
Over the past several newsletters we have been asking you to pray specifically for all of our neighbors. We are committed to being bold in building those relationships. Just 2 weeks ago, our neighbor from across the street came over and joined us for dinner and our Table gathering. We are encouraged by these wonderful people God has given us right here in our neighborhood. Life does not feel nearly as lonely when you know the names and the circumstances of those living closest to you.
We continue to see great things taking place around The Table. Sarah Helm, who will lead our worship experiences, graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University last week with her degree in Organizational Leadership. After taking some much needed down time, she is hoping to join us in St. Charles in August. Besides our plant team, God has blessed us with three other core families. Please pray for the Holt, Jolliff, and Springer families as we all try to figure out how to build strong relationships with those around us. If you have seen our Facebook page, you know by now that the kids of The Table are our greatest treasure and joy. It has been an incredible 5-month journey to see these children sing, play, and learn about Jesus together.
We also continue to see the need for church plants in our community and in our state. While attending our church network’s General Assembly a couple weeks back, it was mentioned that additional churches have closed their doors this year. In fact, over the past 10 years, 14 churches have closed while only 3 churches have been planted. Our network is down to 75 churches from 86 just 10 years ago. We know that God has placed The Table, alongside our other church plants in Republic and Bolivar, to help reverse this trend. We are praying one day the numbers will reflect that there are more churches planted than closed.
Please join us this week in praying for God’s clear direction for the upcoming months at The Table. We are thankful to have you keeping up with us and praying for us.