Grace and Peace to you in Jesus!
Have you noticed? God is doing something beautiful and amazing in and through Christ Community Church, transforming lives here and around the world through the Gospel. That’s not new but it sure is beautiful. Thousands have come into the services and ministries of C3 and found their lives positively changed through the power of the gospel proclaimed in clear and bold messages, as well as in caring ministries of mercy pioneered and supported. For more than thirty years now, the God of all grace has been telling his story of redeeming mercy in and through you. We see the fruit of that work across Franklin and all around the world.
But that story has just begun. What if the most amazing chapters are yet to unfold? What if God is stirring something new and beautiful to deepen his work in us and extend his work through us?
Let’s talk about the next thirty years. Imagine with me a time down the road from today, after I’m gone, and a new pastor has just arrived here with his family. Someone is going to ask him what others asked me: “What do you do here in Franklin?” When he replies that he’s the new pastor of Christ Community Church, I want to know what people will say next.
You know what I heard and we’ve enjoyed a good laugh about it. When I answered, “I’m the new Pastor at Christ Community Church”, people immediately said to me, “Oh! I used to go there!” What will the new pastor thirty years down the road hear? What we do today writes the words to that answer.
I hope it sounds a little like this: “This church changed my life… this church loves our city… I’m thankful C3 sent me to seminary and to the field where we’ve planted ten new churches…C3 welcomes questions and honors doubts, pours into our students…I was baptized there…I met Jesus there…I was married there, surrounded by unwavering community throughout my whole life…they cared for me when I had nowhere to go…this is home.”
For an answer like that to be given thirty years from now, it’ll mean that together, out of the ashes and the pain of some of the most difficult chapters, coupled with grateful hearts for the beauty and the grace of our story, and with renewed dedication inspired by the sacrifices others made for us, we decided to RISE & BUILD something of beauty and substance that was not for us, but for the glory and cause of Jesus. It’ll mean that we decided to make costly sacrifices that would fashion an offering to give to him, a vessel put into his hands for the spread of his love to our city and our world.
The past thirty years weren’t all easy and the next thirty won’t be either. God weaves together the beautiful and the painful to create a tapestry of witness to his own suffering and love. He uses our brokenness to magnify his beauty. He uses our willingness to sacrifice to show the world his faithfulness. He uses us, not only at our brightest and shiniest, but at our most fatigued and battle weary, making our weaknesses opportunities to display his power. We’ve seen this time and again. This isn’t about what we can do, but rather about what God can do in his people, trembling, but faithful.
Christ Community Church has never hesitated to take up the impossible in the name of the Savior. Inspired by the sacrifices made before us that created so much we enjoy now, it is time for C3 to take up the call to follow Jesus sacrificially again. Filled with gospel-inspired hope and trusting in God’s faithfulness, it is time for us to RISE & BUILD.
– PASTOR DAVID CASSIDY