What a night to remember! Well, it is official! Blackman Community Church has had our first service. I can’t help but thinking, as I stood there surrounded by over a hundred men and women with hands raised to God in praise, what a unique gift it is to be a part of the very first service of a church. God is so good to have allowed us to journey together in this mission. I am so proud and honored to be a part of the BCC Launch Team.
As the pastor of BCC I was overcome with gratitude as I watched this group of people work with unceasing passion, grace, and joy as we all prepared for the preview service! The excitement that surround the entire day was something hard to describe. The best way I know how to describe it is to steal the words from my wife. Katie woke up on Saturday and said to me, “This entire week has felt like a wedding week.” Throughout the entire week the Launch Team was running around to get everything accomplished, and all the while taking time to take picture, make videos, and send out texts about how excited they are! That built-up energy, anticipation, and preparation was so perfectly mirrored in the attitudes and actions of the BCC Launch Team all week, culminating in those moments just before 5:30pm on Sunday.
At about 5:00pm our Real Life Community family started pouring into the Lane Agri-Park Auditorium with smiles, handshakes, and embraces all mirroring the same excitement everyone else was feeling! It was humbling, exciting, and emotional for me to greet our Real Life Community family as they came in to support, encourage, and celebrate this church plant. We are the fruit of their faithful giving, of their prayer, their finances, their vehicles, their time, their expertise, and every other resources God has given us. I could not help but get nostalgic seeing all this, and being reminded to never forget our future. Our future looks like this. It looks like the people of God who have given all they have to see the Kingdom Come in their world celebrating the fruit of their labor empowered by the grace of God! You could say that it was a “glimpse of glory” or a “slice of heaven.” It was like running up to the window of the house of God and peaking in to see all that awaits us, looking through the glass darkly, and yet nevertheless catching a bright glimpse of eternity. I will never forget it, just as I will never forget all the peaks that God has given me in this lifetime.
The night only got better as Gabby, Jessica, and Andy got up to lead us in worship. We finished the service by receiving communion. After all, what better way is there to be reminded of who we are, whose we are, and that Real Life Community and Blackman Community will always be fed by the same hand and eat at the same table, no matter what side of town we are on!
Like a wedding, some of it is a blur and then some of it is so clear in my mind and heart as to never be forgotten. We feasted on sandwiches and chips following the service, another offering of the hands of our Real Life Family, and lingered together in the joy of worship. As the night ended I experienced the most fleeting twinge of sadness at its conclusion. Then, replaced by that nostalgia, was the joy of knowing that this is just the beginning! It is only the start of this journey! We will be having our next preview service on January 8th at 10:30am! I am looking forward to glancing into the next Window into Eternity!