2013 was like the summer I trained to be a life guard—when I had to tread water holding bricks above my head. There just wasn’t much easy.
Moving to our new town in North Carolina, navigating a new, demanding job, keeping up with four home schooled children and then one on the way. We treaded a lot of water with bricks over our heads.And we missed our Simple Church network there in Lexington something awful.
We started with Simple Church from its inception. We grew—we prayed—we changed–we learned to be the church, not just go to church—we experienced God work around us in remarkable ways, and then a new job pursuit came, and we accepted. You all, Simple Church, sent us so well. With all kinds of prayers and support that lasted this whole, long year.
We spent a lot of time in early 2013 praying, watching, and reaching out to our new neighbors. We made a fair amount of connections with other believers possibly interested in Simple Church and learned that there was/is not a house church movement here currently. We worshipped in our home sometimes alone, sometimes with others, and we visited a few traditional churches. There seemed to be times of real promise, but more times of disappointment and closed doors—on top of the very real demands of an already trying adjustment.
By the end of the spring, we were tired spiritually, needing more consistent fellowship, and our children seemed to long for more friendships. We began to consistently attend a traditional church where several families attended that had already reached out to us. It wasn’t (still isn’t sometimes!) easy to be in that setting, but we sense God’s care for us. His loving grace to keep and sustain our marriage and family. We have experienced His desire to keep us whole and well over our usefulness to Him.
We continue to pray and keep our eyes open for opportunities to begin a multiplication movement here, but also continue to learn the importance of living out the Great Commission no matter the setting. We have many opportunities to share our church experience with believers and not-yet-believers, and we recognize the ability to meet and make disciples as we wait in faith for possible things to come.
So, our “leading” of a Simple Church here in NC for 2013 can look and feel like a failure. For all the ways that we may measure success—numbers, new believers, discipleship meetings—we know that Simple Church isn’t about any of that. Living life with God can never be about failing and living life for God can never be about striving, even as we seek to multiply.
– Elizabeth, Winston Salem, NC