I hope this encourages someone today. Several years ago the people in our church may have thought I had gone a bit crazy. I removed everything from our stage and almost everything from our sanctuary, for a season. We were a few years into starting Lighthouse and I could sense there was a shift happening that wanted to take us in a new direction. It was the desire to become normal, to be comfortable, to want stability, and for people to have positions.
During that time, this song hit me like a ton of bricks – https://youtu.be/6smGew7dGto Through that season we refocused and set out on a journey to not seek normality, but to serve our community in even greater ways.
However, there was another huge defining moment that I believe has brought us to where we are today. One that has helped us view what the Kingdom of God at work looks like in our community. It is what has helped shape our ministry and had led us to work with people who have never been part of a faith community.
What is it? ‘NOTHING’
Yes, I said ‘Nothing’. The truth is we rarely think of nothing as a gift, but it can be. Before planting Lighthouse / Undercurrent I was one of the pastors at a great church in Oakville. The church and people were incredible to work with. However, Oakville is not Glace Bay. They are actually completely different.
Looking back I see how God used a ‘Nothing’ Season to allow some ideas, plans, patterns, history, visions, etc to die. For a season we did not ‘do’ church. We intentionally ‘de-churched’, for the lack of a better term. We rested, we healed, and spent time together as a family.
We usually do not think the death of something as a gift, but death to self gives the opportunity for God to speak new life, new vision, new purpose, and new ways.
As we look ahead, I now believe just like the Oakville (land of plenty) to Glace Bay (land of lack) were polar opposites, the communities we ministered to a year ago may be polar opposites to those we will pastor a year from now. Our congregations will be different and the needs will have changed.
At this point many of us feel we are in a ‘Nothing’ season. It may feel like it is hard to find hope. However, accept ‘Nothing’ as a gift. Don’t rush to fill “Nothing’. Rushing could be our biggest temptation. As we inch towards a new future, our Hope really lies in hearing what God is preparing us for.
Our fear of being in a ‘Nothing’ season keeps pushing us to try to get back to what we were doing pre-pandemic. However, if we were honest with ourselves, most of us would have to admit our churches were stagnant or in decline. I do NOT believe God is calling us back to that spot.
Instead of being upset with all that is wrong in the world today, take a moment to thank God for the ‘Nothing’ season we are in. I am praying that I can have that ‘Nothing’ season again so I can hear what God is saying, to see what He is doing, and run after it into the future.