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Lessons Learned From A Scuttled Launch

By Josh Glymph


On Easter Sunday, April 12 Refuge Church had big plans to open our doors and have our first Sunday at our location. We had plans to for 2 services (9 & 11am,) children’s ministry for Children 10 & under, the band had been working hard on some new and creative things, we had cool/slick print outs ready, and gifts for visitors…all the cool things we do to start a church these days.

As we closed out March, however, it became clear that we would not able to launch publicly on Easter Sunday as we planned, at least not if we wanted to launch with a public service and meet in person.

So we considered our options and started producing services for our Core team that would take place online, just like every other church in America. We are now about a month into this new normal and the Lord is teaching us some incredible lessons about His plans, His Kingdom, and His Church!

I pray you are encouraged with what the Lord has been showing us.

Lesson One: The Lord Establishes Our Plans
Recently a fellow Jacksonville church planter, Donald Lewis, shared that he was learning to write “all his plans in pencil.” Man, I LOVE that! That’s been so true, and I am sure you are experiencing the same thing in these days. Be willing to write your plans in pencil, so the Lord has freedom to change them according to His plans.

Lesson Two: Our Neighbors Are Still Watching and Listening
Each Sunday, we track and interact with those who are worshipping online with us. There are MANY who are joining us from our community who are not regular church attenders anywhere. The Lord is giving us access to people’s homes in was that none of us had anticipated just two months ago! People who don’t know the gospel are hearing the gospel! People who do not attend church are attending church online. People who don’t read the Bible are having the Word of God proclaimed in their homes!

Lesson Three: We Are Learning to Walk by Faith
Most of the lessons I am learning can be wrapped up by 2 Corinthians 5:7, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Whether it’s my family, my church plant, or my new ministry through social media and video conferencing platforms, the Lord is reminding me daily that following Christ means walking in faith. And that means, I won’t always know what’s instore for me two or three steps down the road, but Christ does. When we follow in faith, our uncertainty is overcome by the courage, truth, joy and hope of Christ!

I am praying that God will be at work in your life in the coming weeks and months as He is in mine and the lives of those who are serving at Refuge Church.

Josh Glymph is a JBA church planter in the Ortega neighborhood of Jacksonville, FL.

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