About a year ago, the hubs and I decided to join a church plant started by new (and amazing) friends, who recently moved to Columbus from Chicago.
We felt God priming our hearts for the transition, but none-the-less, change isn’t always easy. Saying “YES” to God often takes some amount of sacrifice. From the outside, it may just look like Justin and I are spontaneous. Which if you know us, this is pretty true (especially in our early married days). Changing churches though, especially young kiddos, wasn’t just a split decision. The only way I can explain it is that it felt right, and we were excited.
The early days of the church plant started out in our friend’s home. The kiddos would join us for worship, ‘614 kids’ church was in their basement, and everyone stayed for a delish church family lunch after the service. Oh, it was such a sweet way for our families to meet, grow, be in each other’s lives, and so much more. When our church moved into a building, none of that was lost, it was just amplified. I started realizing how much thought, love, prep, care, time, and energy goes into making church “happen”.
Getting a behind the scenes look at church planting has really given me so much appreciation for my friends and church family who truly have a heart for loving each other well, sharing Jesus, spending time with God, building each other up, letting others in, making a safe place for those who need it, caring for the kiddos, providing family for the lonely, tending to each other’s needs, and creating a community that puts God (love) first.
Ultimately, I’ve been so thankful for the simplicity of learning what really defines church. It’s certainly not the building, it’s not the programs, it’s not just being inspired by the pastor’s faith. Church is community. It’s being open and vulnerable enough to let people see the good, bad, and the really, really, hard. It’s a safe zone where we can ask questions, and take risks in sharing our faith. It’s inviting others to experience the love of God through people. It’s play dates and girls nights. It’s ‘dudes only’ camping trips. Church community is not just for “churched” people. My wise friend, who also heads up our kid’s community, said the other day something along the lines of: We make it so difficult. In God’s eyes, it’s simple. We are all either a son or a daughter of God.
We were created by Him, and we belong to each other. So, I want to make it simple. You are loved and you are a child of the most High King. You were created for a purpose and created for community. If that’s something that you long for, but haven’t found, I’d just love for you to come and join us for 614 Church’s first birthday PAR-TAY! If community is something you already have, WOOT WOOT!
For the locals: We meet at Gables Elementary: 1680 Becket Ave, Columbus, Ohio