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Monday, January 10, 2011

What Does 2011 Hold For imagine/Northampton?

As everyone on the planet, imagine/Northampton just entered through the New Year's portal into 2011. We've been attending to this church planting mission since the summer of 2008, almost two and a half years. It's been a memorable ride for all sorts of reasons; some of them wonderful and others very unpleasant. Not much of what I've experienced has been what I expected when we drove out of the long driveway of the Center For Renewal in Simsbury and headed north.

In the pre-dawn of this fresh January day, the thought popped into my head: "I wonder what 2011 holds for imagine/northampton?" I'd been looking to return to writing this blog and voilĂ  I had an idea for my first post.

Questions surfaced:
  • What will God do in our midst for his glory?
  • Will he add to our numbers?
  • Will he change our mission or direction?
  • Will he establish our work with the people on the street?
  • Will he bring a gifted, creative, "out-of-the-box" thinking worship leader?
  • Will he create relationships with people in town we did not expect?
  • Will he expand our borders and influence?
  • How will he use us in the arts community here?
  • Will he bring the people and gifts we need to move forward?
  • What surprises will he bring;what challenges and problems will he allow?

In short, I think God desires imagine/Northampton to be faithful: to love him more freely and affectionately, to love others with wise abandon, and to go wherever he sends us incarnating the love of Christ to people who can't see him or don't want to.
    I also thought about what do I hope for imagine/Northampton in 2011? I hope:

    God adds to our numbers with folks who have a strong desire to be about the Kingdom, not merely find a church that better fits their wants or has more spiritual "stuff" for them.

    He will relieve the financial strain we and other members of our team have labored under since coming here.

    Abba keeps all of the imagineers safe from harm, including all the kids.

    The Holy Spirit deepens our passion for Jesus and for what he loves most in this place and beyond. I hope all of us at imagine grow far into helping people discover the God who is more than they imagine.

    God helps us all live more and more from a sacrificial love, a hunger to serve the least of his brethren, and be able to shun the basest or most self-serving of our culture's lusts and idolatries even if they appear innocent on the surface.

    Jesus opens the way for some of us who are ready to serve this year in another part of the country or the world so we begin to learn how God wants us to bring hope and a future to people living another life experience.

    The Holy Spirit would open a way for folks we've praying for to move here and become imagineers.

    God grants mercy to Mark, Steve, Pyro, Walter and Ben that they would come to know and follow him this year.

    He would re-form a gifted and skilled worship team for us.

    He would bring a few gifted folks to our Leadership Team.

    He would grant Tricia and I more time/resources to rest or take leave for needed refreshment

    God will help us accomplish what he's established for imagine/Northampton; we would miss nothing he has summoned us to do this year.

    Father, may the hopes on my list and what I've failed to include reflect your heart, and be our fervent occupation in 2010. Make it so for your singular glory in and through each of us!
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