Once upon a time, a young church was planted in a pretty little city. This church grew from just a few members to a nice little congregation, one able to help people. She became known as a friendly church, one who smiled and opened her arms wide for any visitors. Like any other church, she wasn’t perfect, but she loved, and she tried to follow God. She wanted to be the kind of church that would show her city the love of God, and help people learn about Jesus, the Savior of the world.
God eventually moved the little church to a lovely little building where she’d have room to grow and learn and prosper. It had an auditorium with red carpet, light brown pews, and a big stage up front with a baptistry behind it. There was a small balcony in the back and one entire wall of stained glass window panes that filled the room with color each morning.
There were classrooms and spaces for nurseries, allowing the church to teach her children about God, and have a safe fun place for babies to be cared for during the services.
A nice fellowship hall, with a kitchen and another fireside room all served for after-meeting fellowships, wedding receptions, Bible studies, music practices, book store space, and Awana programs. Teen activities and counselling times, and discipleship all took place here, as well as extra things like couple’s nights and Harvest festivals. The church grew there and learned how to do more than care for herself. She learned how to show the city God’s love.
This was a place where people could come and have their questions answered, where lives could be enriched, where outreach was planned and where real help could be provided. This was a place of Victory.
Then one day the pretty city told the growing church that she’d have to give up her building. The whole building would be torn down to make room for more city. The city wasn’t being mean, but it was a city – not a church. It didn’t understand the good things she was doing there, and it wanted the land for something else, and so the church was going to have to leave.
Victory was scared, not at all sure what she was going to do or where she was going to go. What would happen to her? Who would help the people she’d leave behind? Where would her people meet? How would they find her if she moved?
She prayed though, hoping that God would change the mind of the city planners, but it was not to be. The city was not going to change things, and so Victory would have to move.
She looked and looked for a place where she could meet as a church, but in this city, it was hard to find a place where a church would be allowed to stay and grow roots. Eventually though, a warehouse was located in another spot in the city where they’d be allowed to meet – but it was going to take money. The warehouse was a building, but it wasn’t ready for people to meet inside. There were no rooms in the warehouse, and no chairs. No classrooms or baptistry or kitchen or fellowship hall like she’d had before.
Despite all this, young Victory was overjoyed! God had given her a new place to stay. A place of her own, where she could really settle in someday and grow and be a beacon for the people in her city. This was a victory, too. She didn’t need a wall of colorful glass to light her way. She could be a light to the city.
Still, the new place needed to have a lot of work done, and that always means one thing – lots of money to be paid. Victory wasn’t ever a rich church, and now she needed more money than she’d ever needed for anything ever before. This would have to be a victory from God.
In the meantime, she found a temporary place where she could meet – a garden where she could feel safe for a little while before stepping out and doing some big, big things for God. In the garden she was able to do some things she’d never done before. She learned how to use more people to do everything. Being in the garden meant everyone had to work together to set up the spaces they needed each week. Moving to a new place meant everyone had to watch out for each other. It meant no one wanted anyone else to be left behind, so she had to shine brightly.
It was in the garden that she grew to understand God’s victories in her life, and started calling herself a light for the city – City Light.
From the garden she had to step into one more temporary building – a school. This was where she learned even more valuable lessons. Such as doing big things for God often means taking unexpected detours. And doing big things for God doesn’t always look glamorous from the outside. It usually isn’t very glamorous at all. She was taking a step toward that final goal though – the new building – the one that still needed lots of work, and that still meant lots of money.
Over two years, while she hovered in the garden and in the school, she worked hard and earned money to get lots of work done on the new building. The people prayed, and God showed them victories, and God let them be a light while they waited still. And she rejoiced.
To be used by God is all she ever really wanted. A building doesn’t have to have a fancy kitchen or pretty chandeliers or a fireside room in order to be used by God.
Now the victorious church with a new name stands in its last place. Nowhere else in the pretty city wants a church her size to meet there, even temporarily. The only place left to her is the new building – the one that still needs lots of work, and thus lots of money.
But she’s seen God work victories already. She’s already given more than she’d ever thought possible, and grown in ways she’d never imagined. She’s already seen God save lives, and seen miracles in people the rest of the world had given up on. She’s already seen God take them from a place of comfort, to a place of safety, to a place of anticipation for the next step.
And she knows this light in the city isn’t ready to be put out yet. She knows God has a place for her.
This will be a place where a young man can walk in after trying locked doors all over the city, and find an unlocked door with a person inside who can answer his questions.
This will be a place where a young lady who’s lived an unbelievably difficult life can come and find comfort and rest and love.
This will be a place where an older couple can come and help younger people learn to live for God, while getting their own needs met and learning how to handle their own challenges.
This will be a place where the talents God gave you will be the talents you use to serve God.
This will be a place where the Bible is taught and young children are raised to love God and love their fellow man.
This will be a place where people can be challenged with the needs of a community around them, and equipped with the resources they need to meet those needs.
This will be a place where a community can come with their questions, and find answers from the only One who actually has those answers.
This will be a place where "Take that Mountain" is the battle cry for seeing spiritual victories in each other's lives.
Whenever she does get into the new building, now she knows that her victories have been turned into a light that will shine upon the city, guiding people to the only True Light – Jesus Christ.
Please pray with us that God would give us the money to complete the work on the new building so we can begin to use it for His glory.
James 5:16 (KJV)
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
If, out of the kindness of your heart, you'd like to help this young church fix her building to the point where it's an acceptable safe meeting place, please visit this site: CITYLIGHT