Sunday, January 9, 2011

Revision Church

back in 2008, when i was pregnant with Jack, Ben shared something with me. it was a calling, that he believed was from the Lord. he told me that he felt like he wouldn't be a youth minister forever. and while we were very happy at the church we were serving in, we knew God was calling us to a different work. the Lord had laid church planting on Ben's heart and He had given Ben the desire to be a pastor. we weren't sure where or when we would church plant or what type of pastor Ben would be, but we were trusting the Lord to lead us.

at the same time, our very close friends, Job & Brittany, were also seeking the Lord in what area of ministry they needed to serve the Lord. Brittany was a full-time ER nurse & Job was finishing up seminary & looking for a job in a church. we began to share our heart with them concerning church planting. it was definitely something that they had also been praying about, but weren't sure where or when the Lord would place them. after Jack was born, there were many nights that Brittany and I would sit together, as i fed Jack, and talk about our dreams for our husbands. we talked about how awesome it would be if we could plant a church together, one day. and how cool it would be if Josh & Katie (who were then engaged) could also be part of it. for us, that would be an absolute dream job. our hubbies were already best friends & the 3 of us got along beautifully. ( i mean, of course it helps that Katie is my sister! ha!) but to be honest, i wondered if there was ever a way that could truly happen. it sounded way too amazing to ever come true!

fast forward to summer 2009. Josh & Katie were now very newly married. and our "Revision Community Bible Study" was meeting twice a month at an apartment complex in Olive Branch. our goal was to reach young couples & singles in the Olive Branch area and give them a bible study so that they could plug-in, grow in Christ, and reach the community. TJ & Kayla Lyles (then engaged) had joined in on our work. Ben's former roommate, Evan Logan, had also joined us & he shared the same heart for Olive Branch. so at this point we had 9 total people on board with this bible study & praying, all the while, that the Lord would turn it into a church plant.

fast forward to January 2010. Ben, Job, Josh, Evan & TJ were meeting once a month & going through Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll. they were studying God's word, talking about a church plant & praying through what the Lord would have them to do & when. there were many times their meetings would last until 2 a.m. as they discussed the doctrines, truths, theologies & leadership aspects of the church. at this point, we all knew we would plant together, and we had the support of a few pastors in our area but we weren't sure how all of the timing would play out.

May 2010. we get the final word that Revision Church is happening. we set the launch for January 2011. we knew LifePoint Church in Senatobia, MS would be the mother church. (the church that sends us out & backs us the most, financially.) we had to give word to our current church, Meadow Brook, that we would be leaving. that was difficult for us. we had truly come to love the people & the home we had there. Meadow Brook decided that it would be best for us to leave in August, so that their new youth minister could start. we moved to Cordova & at the same time, our weekly core group meetings began at the McAlister's Deli in Olive Branch. so exciting. we also learned that Garrett Brewer, and his sweet new wife Anna, would be joining us as the student/children's pastor. perfect addition to our leadership team.

core group was such a blessing. we were able to answer questions about our church & give information on what we believe in & stand for, as the body of Christ. the team of pastors, Evan & TJ, met early each week to continue to outline things for the church. Ben preached each week & then there would be a time of discussion. Job, Josh & Garrett also preached & got to share their hearts on different topics concerning our church. each week we had faithful members of our core group meet together but we also had new visitors that were interested in the church. it was so exciting to see how God was moving & drawing people to our church.

it was a little, ok A LOT, difficult to keep up with my kids at core group meetings. they just wanted to run, play & be loud. typical to their age. i usually ended up taking them out of the room & entertaining them in a booth, letting them play outside, or we would head home early. but, it was a blessing to go & be with friends & our church family. and to be honest, it just blessed my heart to see Ben, so in his element. and to see Job, Josh & Garrett being used by the Lord; teaching, instructing, praying & encouraging others.

on September 29, 2010 we had our first information meeting. we had a great turnout & everything went smoothly.
October, 31 2010 we had our first preview service. we had a few people keeping the nursery and about 50 others in attendance in the service. we were thrilled!!
December 5, 2010 was our second preview service and we had a little over 80 people in attendance.

and today. January 9, 2011. our Launch Service. 110 people. SO EXCITING!!! after 2 years of praying & hard work, our church finally started. and we couldn't be more thrilled. its even a little emotional for us! we realize, as Job said, that its not the culmination of our work, but a celebration of how God is moving. it is actually happening. we are now meeting each week, at 10 am, at Skate Odyssey in Olive Branch. we are coming together to study God's word, worship & pray as a church family. its really just incredible. on February 13 we will begin small groups on Sunday nights & weekly services on Wednesday nights. so excited to see how it all comes together!

i am so very thankful for the Lord's work in our life. the past 2 years have been hard, exhausting, stressful & financially straining. we have made sacrifices as a family & as a church. but we have learned & grown so much. we have felt the Lord's guidance more than ever before. we have seen His hand as He opened the necessary doors, led us to the people He has for us to minister to, given us the best friends to work with & met our needs in every aspect of our lives. we now have 2 kids, Ben has graduated seminary & we are pouring all of our hearts & time into Revision. within our core group, 3 couples have gotten married & the Dalombas had sweet Reid in November! the Lord is good. and He is so faithful.

we are so excited about the future of our church. we aren't seeking to make the big bucks with a mega church. we want to grow so that Revision can plant a church in another area, where people need to know about Jesus. we want to minister to Olive Branch. we want to love on people. we want to grow in Christ. we are thrilled to be doing this with people that we love so much. its such a joy to walk through life with them. and we are honored, as a family, to be in God's work. being in the center of His will is the absolute best place to be. we love that Jack & Jovie will grow up in this work & we pray that they serve Him all the days of their life.

thank you Lord, for calling us to this great work. may we always be willing to work hard, to tell others about you, to love on people and to follow you, wherever you lead. thank you, that Ben loves the work you have given him. and thank you for such wonderful friends to serve you with. help us to be found faithful!!!

Psalm 67:1-2
"God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations."


just the two of us! said...

what a great post! it was such a blessing for us to come this morning and we are praying for y'all as you all continue this journey together. sometimes i wish so badly that ryan and I could be a part of it, but we are so sure that the Lord has us at first evan for this season in our lives. And the Lord is constantly reminding me and teaching me to be content where He has me. i love you sister and am so excited for the work that the Lord has done, is doing, and will do at Revision.

Ashley Fisher :) said...

I LOVE this story. It is so precious! You are such a godly and wonderful wife and mom! I'm proud to be your friend!

Love you!!!

So excited for ya'll! I think this is just what OB needs!!

Katie Kubler said...

im so excited to share this journey with you, brit, anna, and kayla. I know in 5 years we can look back at our humble beginnings and see how the Lord has moved and brought us closer together!

Its going fun, hard, stressful, emotional, draining, hard, fun, hard, fun.. but Im so so so excited we are doing it with ya'll:)

Tracey Renfro said...

I am always reading about your church on Brittany's (we're cousins) Facebook and Blog but didn't really know the background (or even what a church plant was), thanks so much for sharing the story, hope to be able to come one Sunday soon...