Where is God Taking Us?
God gave Nehemiah a vision.
“I went to Jerusalem and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. . . . Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.’. . . They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’” (Nehemiah 2:11,12; 17, 18; emphasis mine)
The wall of Jerusalem was shambles. Holes filled spots where great stones had once stood. Gates were broken. Fire had destroyed. Yet God gave Nehemiah a vision to rebuild the wall and renew Jerusalem, for His glory.
I believe God wants to do the same for us. God has a vision for us--not for our greatness, but for His. Not for our purpose, but for His. God in His Sovereignty has put First Free in South Minneapolis to fulfill His mission: “Go, make disciples . . . baptizing them . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
A vision is a picture of the future that produces passion--a passion that people want to follow. Any organization without a clear vision is like a river without banks–it stagnates and goes nowhere. From October of last year through, May of this year, thirteen church leaders have been meeting once a month, early on Saturday mornings to pray through, discuss together, and hammer out a renewed vision for First Free. Our bottom line question was, “Where is God taking us?”
Let me give you a little teaser: We believe God has put us here on this prime piece of real estate at 52nd and Chicago Ave. not just to sit on this spot "doing church," but rather "being the church." We believe God has called us to get out of the pews and work together for His glory. God has put us here to be an Outpost, sending people out into the city for Christ. He has put us here as a Signpost – so that each person in this place will go back into their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools pointing people to Christ. He has put us here as a Lamppost – to shine the light of Christ throughout South Minneapolis and the world.
As we do this together, lost people will start getting found, and found people will start growing up. Isolated people will be drawn into community, and the poor will receive compassion. God gets the glory for it all, and the gates of hell are pushed back a little more on planet earth. That is where God is taking us.
This upcoming January we will be publically launching our new church vision, with sermons, a new website, discussions in our community groups (ABFs and small groups), and a renewed excitement. I want to invite you to pray for us as we lay out this picture of the future – that indeed it might produce a Spirit-inspired passion in all of us; that our church family might say all together, “Let us follow God.”