Our Journey Together - Part II

As written by Audrey Mercier.

Change is inevitable, and yet it is almost comical how most human beings innately despise change!

This point was proven, when a month ago, Pastor Marvin asked the question in service, ‘Who in here hates change?’ while a majority raised their hands, myself included. The season we have found ourselves in is no surprise to God, but at the same time, our perspective is the one thing that has made us move forward without fear and helped us to plan with peace. We had the choice of this abrupt transition to be either our crutch or our crown.

I personally saw it as an opportunity to acknowledge that God’s dream for us is bigger than our own. It opened my eyes to my own life, and all the changes and transitions that have occurred. We have every opportunity to make the most of what God lays out for us. It’s all in how we see it. Are we looking through our narrow focus, or are we opening ourselves up to God’s perspective that allows us to relinquish our control in response to God’s goodness?

From time to time we need a little reality check in that perspective area of our lives. Why do we do what we do in the church? Why are we here on a Sunday? How can our efforts actually make a difference? One of the best phrases Pastor Marvin brings up periodically is “We’re in the people business.” That isn’t referring to pleasing people; it refers to the fact that it’s not just about what you do, but who it affects. It answers all those questions in one fell swoop.

The church revolves around sharing the love of God to those that have never experienced a pure and unconditional kind of love. Whether you clean a toilet, sing on the worship team, or serve the coffee, your efforts are all for the kingdom of God. You create excellence and make way for others to encounter God. Your willingness and heart show others the hope that can only come from Christ.

Some days you can lose your motivation or start looking inward rather than outward. But if your obedience to ‘be the church’ overrides your thoughts of just warming a seat cushion, then you should never be weary in doing good, because God is always there to bring order, balance, and refreshment to your life as you serve others. Whether you have only visited a church once or twice or are a volunteer who commits to serving on many occasions, your purpose and refreshment in life will only be truly fulfilled through the love of Christ. It just goes to show that our perspective is everything in life.

A good friend of mine has a saying that I come back to time and again while dealing with accounting puzzles. ‘Alright, let’s think about the big picture,’ he often says. And honestly that was always the most helpful perspective in that circumstance. But then I thought more about how it can apply to real life. Wherever you find yourself, whether lost and alone, tired and weary, or maybe just needing a refresher of why God has you where you are, it helps to ask God for His perspective.

Humans tend to want to know the whole story from beginning to end, and sometimes God only gives us a peek. That’s where faith is our ally and so is the Holy Spirit. The moment we forget that there is trust involved with faith, and if we ever let our busy lives cover up the voice of the Holy Spirit, we run ourselves into a tiring, purposeless life, that only has a moment here and there of happiness.

As a church, we’ve had to remain steadfast in knowing God’s purpose and seeking His plans for this next season. We are continuing to tweak and process how the logistics of each part of our church family can thrive and how we can make more room for God to continue to move in the lives of our congregation and city. Our board members, as well as our staff, meet faithfully to discuss the important things that eventually you see come about on Sunday or throughout the week.

We too have to ask for His perspective on how to move forward. Once we know more about our next move, we’ll be sure that we know it’s God's best for us. Overall, our focus is to remain a presence-driven church, acknowledging that God is in control, while being the hands and feet of Jesus. It is an honor to serve the Harbor Family and the city of Hammond, and we couldn’t do it alone.