This sermon is part of the sermon series "Remembering Who We Are (part 2)". See series.
For most of my time in college, I attended a small church in Chicago with my now wife, Jamie. The pastor of this church had been commissioned by a large church in the suburbs to start a congregation in this neighborhood that would reach young, unchurched people of a more "alternative" mindset, who didn't have much of a taste for the bigger traditional churches of Chicago. This pastor had a large family, consisting of what grew to be nine children, and was financially supported by his commissioning church.
Things did not turn out as planned. The vision of many church plants is to grow into a self-sustaining entity that provides a powerful, Christ-honoring influence to an area where there is little or no Christian presence. To some extent, this church plant did this. It was a small community of young families and believers who would gather together in various rented, run-down venues to worship the Lord, and who would maintain godly relationships as they lived out their walks with Jesus together. They were never lacking in zeal to lend a helping hand when someone was moving, when there were community outreach efforts, or even when fellow believers needed money to pay the rent. Yet for some reason, our church was not ultimately able to sustain itself, possibly because of the limited financial resources of the twenty-somethings who comprised most of its congregation; possibly because of reasons beyond our control. Amid stories of other church plants that thrived and grew and became parent churches of their own, I can remember the last few months of meeting in the lobby of an apartment building for our worship service. When the church ended, many of its former members went to find other churches where they could fit ...
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