Today is the 5th anniversary of our church that we helped plant here in San Antonio. Six years ago, a group of seven men started meeting about once every week or two to set up the constitution for the church as well as other framework needed. Although several of the men had years of pastoring experience, none of them had participated in a church plant before. It was exciting and scary at the same time.
The men had a vision for a family-integrated church. This is not a new idea, of course but a rather old one. The whole family worships together without nurseries, children's church, or youth groups. The parents, namely the fathers, are the primary teachers of their own children. In other words, it's how churches operated until very recent history. After a year of these start-up meetings by the men, the church began worshipping together the first Sunday of June, 2004.
We all laugh a little at the first weeks we met as a congregation. Our first few Sundays we had 10-12 families, with children under the age of 13 far outnumbering the teens and adults. And most of the kids 4 and under were not used to sitting through a church service. So it was, shall we say, just a little noisy.
Five years later, it is amazing to see where God has brought us. Not only have our children gone beyond learning to sit through a long church service to actually learning to worship, but I have seen such growth in our families. Not just in the number that worship with us, though that has certainly increased as well, but in the closeness we have together and the spiritual maturity I have seen many of the members show under the most trying circumstances. Our church has had some wonderful highs and some devastating lows, attacks of every kind.
But through it all, God has been faithful. Through all the long months of meeting to set the church up, to the years before we were able to take our pastor on full time, to all the trials, God had a plan. And His will is good and perfect, though we are not.
Thank you, Lord for the church family you have put us in. Thank you for your faithfulness over the past 5 years. Keep us always in your will, disciplining us when we need it. Guide and keep us. Help us to do the good work which you created for us to do - to each other and to the lost. Help us to always proclaim the truth of your gospel and minister to all with love.