Last night was The Pathway's first worship service. I had no idea what to expect. I absolutely love worship services but I think they hinder "people" from being the church at times because they think that "going" to church is what it's all about. That being said, I never planned to have a worship service before 2011. I so wanted to focus on building and developing our Community Groups that the idea of having a worship serve so early on didn't even seem like an option. Have you ever tried to tell God what to do? It doesn't work. God made it evident a couple months ago that having a worship service would open the door for more people to connect to our Community Groups and to Jesus. It was also something our people were "yearning" for... so we did it!
Last night as I looked out at the people gathered together I could only smile at the reality that this group of people is not yet our church. All of those people were attending our worship service... but church is so much more than a worship service. However, the reason I smiled is because God gave us a glimpse of who our church will be. As I looked at the chairs inhabited by souls in need of a Savior I saw a man that was homeless until just last week. I saw several registered sex offenders. I saw a small group of college students from 2 different Tacoma campuses. I saw the families of some of our youth whom I had never met before. I saw young couples, I saw singles, I saw the employed and the unemployed. I saw teenagers, children, young men and old. I saw black, white, Native America & Asian. Most importantly I saw Christians... genuine followers of Jesus Christ... worshipping God and lifting high the name of Jesus while welcoming unbelievers, doubters, skeptics into our fellowship.
It was messy. It was diverse. It was beautiful. Thank you Jesus.
All those people aren't yet a part of the body of Christ. All those people aren't yet a part of The Pathway. But God faithfully showed us and told us last night, "Yes, this is the church I've called you to plant." WOW! I stand amazed in his presence.