Little Feet, Big Steps, God’s Mountain

This is from Stefani’s journal on October 25, 2009. It recaps our story so well, I feel it worthy of posting here…

At some point yesterday, I wondered if I had climbed a mountain – my feet were tired, my muscles ached, I was tired from head to toe. Yes, I had climbed a mountain. Today, I have spent time remembering what led to the climb. Here are some snapshots from my memories…

It was some time in 1998 – we were returning from a church leadership conference, Bill Hybles was speaking – Ron asked that scary question, “Did God say anything to you tonight?” I wanted to answer, but I wanted to hear from him first, “Yeah, but what did he say to you?” He wouldn’t go, I wouldn’t go, finally we both said, “God told me that one of these days, we’re going to start one of those churches that becomes the ‘Hope of the World’.” Looking at each other with bewilderment, we had no idea what that meant or when that time would come. Together we shared ideas of what that would look like – a church beyond walls, in the community, uniting people in generosity, sharing the extravagant love of God.

Flash forward to October 2006 – we were standing on a mountain in the Eastern Sierra – a beautiful place, full of majesty and splendor, focusing on the awesome creation of God. I looked at Ron and said, “God’s about to do something different with us, isn’t He.” We both knew – we just had no idea what ‘it’ was. Standing on the top of that mountain we knew there was a bigger one ahead of us – one we would climb – one we would probably have no trail map for –one that would require big steps out of our little feet.

Flash forward to August 2007 – we were again on top of a hill somewhere in TN that we had never heard of, somewhere that we never thought we would be – getting ready to go through the ringer at the Church Planting Assessment Center. Could this be the time that God had forecast so many years ago? Were we ready for this mountain? A resounding yes – in the form of affirmation from so many, including those who head CPAC. Only one question remained, “where?”

Flash forward to January 2008 – a moving van makes its way south along the I-95 corridor from PA to Northern Virginia. A place not known, A people not familiar with, A mountain with no map, A job with no income…

Who knew that the next 20 months would involve so many big steps – in raising funds, in building relationships, in establishing credibility, in unleashing generosity. Who knew that time could move so quickly.

October 25, 2009 Restore Community Church held the Grand Opening Celebration for Sunday Morning Services. And yet, the Church began long before that. And while most people see Church as this Sunday Morning thing, Restore is so much more – lived out daily in the community, as one person invests in another, as generosity is extended, as the extravagant love of Jesus is shared. Something tells me that the biggest steps are yet to be taken.