9 years ago today I preached my first sermon as a lead pastor. Preached is a funny word, because it was 16 adults in the basement of a home in Mattawan, MI. We brought folding chairs from our card table sets, Dave Bunt brought his acoustic guitar and he sat on the hearth of the fire place and played a few songs. I preached like there were 200 there. And we took our first communion together as a church.
We didn’t know what God was going to do. We launched out with a genuine trust that it was in His hands and He could make it sail or make it sink. I knew well, that from a statistical standpoint, nearly 75% of church plants are no longer in existence after 2 years. God had not met me and told me it was going to succeed. I did sense that he wanted me to step out in faith and trust in Him to do a work in our community.
Fast forward 9 years and ReCAST church has grown deeper. Our faith is more mature. Our years of wandering are over. We went from meeting in a store front, went to two service in that location, then moved to the elementary school cafeteria, and now we gather at a building that God has provided for us. And all along the way, lives have taken root in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many have come to receive the forgiveness that is only available through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the cross. Others have taken significant steps of growth in faith, community, and service. Many have stepped up to battle sin in their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The journey has been amazing. In some ways the nine years has gone quickly and in other ways it feels like it was a lifetime ago. I am not the man I was 9 years ago.
G0d has moved me personally from being a church-planter, driven by adrenaline and risk. He has increased in me a more reflective and contemplative spirit that is required for a long-term pastor. I love ReCAST Church and am happy that today we get to celebrate 9 years of growing together! Happy Birthday, ReCAST Church!