I meet a woman at a writers conference. In addition to being an author, she is also a pastor. She’s launching a new church in an underserved downtown urban area.
Her dream is a church for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds—a colorful mosaic of folks who seek to grow together in Jesus under the power of the Holy Spirit. She shares more. Her passion draws me in. Her vision inspires me. I want to be part of this great adventure.
I occasionally see her online, reminding me of this church. Being part of this church is not inconceivable, even though the downtown area is about thirty minutes away. I share my excitement over the possibility with Candy.
She doesn’t see the opportunity I see. Urban church experiences in a rundown area aren’t what she wants, but she does agree to visit once.
I go online to find the details. Their website casts a vision for a downtown church, but it also talks about their meetings in a suburb. Details appear for a suburban church service, but not for a downtown one.
In frustration, I fill out the contact form on their website to seek clarity. A couple of weeks later I receive a response, not from my friend, but from her associate. They have not yet started meeting downtown and are presently only gathering in the suburban location.
We are welcome to join them.
The problem is the suburb is northeast of downtown, while we are southwest. It would take an additional fifteen or so minutes to get there. Forty-five minutes is too far of a drive, even to visit a church one time. For us, it’s a missed opportunity to experience their gathering.
Several months later, I think about this church again. I wonder if their downtown meetings have started. I revisit their website. A picture of the downtown remains, but they have no mention of their downtown vision or meeting there.
I’m disappointed. It’s a missed opportunity.
I understand that dreams can change, and vision can shift. I assume they’ve given up on reaching the downtown urban area, just like many other well-intentioned folks. They are now content in the suburbs. Most people are.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.