God is truly amazing! Talk about impeccable timing… we arrived at the hotel at 5:05PM. Yup, you guessed it – our flight was delayed again. We were on the tarmac when the plane’s engine shut down. In one of those “ah-ha” moments, I was reminded that this new church plant will never “take off” without prayer and God’s anointing.
When I finally walked into the conference room, I was shocked to see so many people already gathered and ready to worship the Lord. After we praised, we had Pastor Keith from Church of Southland share some words of encouragement for us. The church in Ann Arbor then gave a greeting via video (we recorded during the 1st celebration in AA). It was encouraging to know that this church was being planted with the love and support of Acts Ministries International – planting churches needs to be a team effort.
I then laid down some foundational truths about the Church of Jesus Christ and shared the vision for the church. We then took candles and placed them at various places in the room, representing our desire to be a light in the greater Chicago area. We closed out the night with communion, prayer and worship. We had close to 160 people for our inaugural service in Chicago and we had about 60 people gathered in Ann Arbor through a live feed (praise God for technology). We are just humbled that close to 220 people participated in this historical moment for our church.
After the service, we went to a local Thai restaurant to celebrate together with food and a cake that was donated by the Covenant small group (married couples) from Ann Arbor.
I know that planting a new church is not easy, but for some reason I felt like we were in the middle of a current that we just happened to jump into – it is at the right place, at the right time. This church plant could not have happened without all your prayers and support. I just wanted to personally thank all of you who helped out with this inaugural service. It is times like this that remind me how blessed I am to be your pastor – thank you for following my leadership, even though at times you think that I am crazy!
Here are some pictures from the night:
Pastor Jimmy giving the announcements
Worshipping in response to God’s Word
Preparing the candles
Fellowshipping together at the restaurant
The mother of all cakes