I’d like to open by wishing you all happy new year. 2017 was quite a year for Simplicity; between our pastor relocating, receiving approval for a second round of funding by the Christian Church Commission despite not having an on-site lead pastor, and making the temporary transition to a house church at the beginning of October, we experienced quite a few twists and turns last year, twists and turns that, I feel, have only strengthened our resolve and ignited our passion for this church. We established new initiatives, launched new ministries, and made new friendships, all of which will lay a solid foundation for what I anticipate to be an incredible year for Simplicity!
As we turn our attention to 2018, something that has no doubt been on everyone’s mind is the question, “what’s next?” Or perhaps the more accurate way to form that question is, “where to?” We’ve been meeting as a house church for the past 3 months, which to me has been a pivotal decision for our church; in addition to allowing us the necessary time to absorb the departure of our pastor and dear friend, Michael Canada, it has also given us the freedom to re-evaluate our leadership team and how we operate, experiment with new initiatives, grow our savings account while doing outreach and service projects, and perhaps most importantly it has given us the opportunity to really get to know one another in what I consider a faithful and Christ inspired manner. We Made Ourselves at Home, got Back to Basics, and adjusted our Attitudes, and as a result, we’re now ready to ask ourselves big questions like, “what’s next?” and “where to?”
For the past several weeks, our leadership team has been brainstorming about what our next move should look like. We’ve been asking questions like, “who are we trying to serve and what is our mission?”; “What’s the ideal location?”; “Should we lease, purchase, rent, or share a space?” Full disclosure: we don’t have concrete answers to really any of those questions yet, but what I want you all to know is that we've been exploring avenues that will, God willing, provide those answers.
We want to be intentional about this search, but there’s a fine line between making something a focus and becoming completely consumed by it. Ultimately, yes, we do need to move out of the house church phase sooner than later because we simply can’t grow much beyond our current numbers in the space we’re in. Our Christmas Eve service was an eye opener; the turn out far exceeded our expectations, so it's time to cast our nets to see what’s out there in the way of a space that will allow us to accommodate more people on Sunday mornings. That being said, we should all approach this search in a way that doesn’t cause us to create a god out of this goal to relocate. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities for sure, but more important to me is that we keep our minds and hearts fixed on going deeper in our faith; when it is meant to be, God will show us where we are meant to be.
We've much to be thankful for and there's so much to be excited about in the months ahead. Whatever the path may be for Simplicity only God knows, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that the future is bright for our church if only because it is a community of open minds and open hearts, one that puts relationships before doctrine.
It is an honor and a privilege to walk this faith journey with you, my church family.