Beauty in the Unexpected

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Last week, the church I presently serve at, Grace Community Bible Church in Grayslake, was damaged by a series of thunderstorms that dropped nearly 7″ of rain over a few hours across our area. As a result of these torrential rains, the facility our church rents in was partially submerged and took on water. Needless to say, my plans for the week were dramatically altered that day. I have been spending countless hours helping with cleanup efforts, communicating with church staff, volunteers, and the congregation, along with coordinating alternate Sunday worship plans. With our senior pastor currently out on sabbatical, there is nothing else than moments like these that provide a lot of “on the job” training for our future days ahead as church planters!

I was reminded of Proverbs 16:9 this week, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Aside from a few projects I was going to wrap-up and meetings that I had on the calendar as part of my current role, I had planned to begin spending a lot of energy towards church planting this week. I especially intended on making personal phone calls and sending emails to nearly 50 people that I sent letters to only a few weeks prior asking for their support. Clearly my heart had one plan and the Lord had another.

Despite my plans being frustrated, I quickly discovered the beauty in this very unexpected turn of events. Here are some of my observations:

  • I have been able to exercise my natural leadership and visionary gifts with ease in a time of crisis for our church. This has already been affirmed by many.
  • I have been able to be part of and see a picture of the global Church coming together for a shared cause. It’s what I hope to contribute to and help build as part of our culture at Restoration Church in Lake Zurich.
  • I have been able to build stronger relationships with area pastors, their church members, and our congregation.
  • I have been reminded that God has all things under His control. I’m learning to gracefully release my agenda for His.

We’re still in the thick of clean-up and rebuilding, and our staff and congregation remain displaced until the work is completed. In the meantime, my responsibilities continue and other commitments are still to be filled. So here are ways that you can be praying this week for us:

  • Pray for wisdom, discernment, and rest in this time of leading Grace Community in my final weeks before our senior pastor returns from sabbatical and my departure in mid-August.
  • I was invited a number of months ago to guest speak at a summer camp for Jr. High students at Camp Fairwood in Wisconsin next week. Pray that Jesus would be glorified, student’s lives would be changed, and for my sermon preparations that need to be completed this weekend. Pray the Spirit would lead us all to a greater intimacy with Him.
  • Pray for our moving sale that we’re planning to have this Saturday (July 22). We hope to sell a number of items and make some money to help with moving costs.
  • Pray for financial support for our residency program. We’re already more than half-way to our $40,000 goal in commitments! Pray that we exceed that amount prior to September 1.
  • Pray for the successful closing on the sale of our home and the purchase of our new one. So far everything is going smoothly!
  • I have a number of tasks and assignments that need to be completed prior to September 1 in preparation for my church planting residency with Reach Chicago. Pray that I would be able to get these tasks completed and do them with excellence.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership in this important Kingdom-expanding effort!

Become a Financial Supporter!

You can give a recurring monthly gift or a special-gift online today towards the building of Restoration Church in Lake Zurich, IL.

Donate online at: http://pushpay.com/pay/reachchicago and select the fund “Matt Till”. All donations given to Reach Chicago (EFCA Great Lakes District) are tax-deductible, and will be credited directly to me and our church planting efforts.