Many of you know that Dan and I go to a church plant in downtown Raleigh. Well, We celebrated Four Years of being a church yesterday!! God is so good. Treasuring Christ Church is a church plant from Open Door Baptist and Providence in Raleigh and Bethlehem in Minneapolis. We started as a small group of about 30 and now have well over 100 members and have close to 170 coming each sunday. We've been in 8 different locations and currently meet in the Imax building right in downtown.
Dan and I have been here since the beginning four years ago and I can say that it's changed our lives but it hasn't been easy. Both of us have grown up in traditional well established churches most of our lives and for most of my life I've been a preachers kid. So learning to be learners and church members who make up varied parts of the body has been a challenge but it's been so good for our faith.
How to live out the gospel daily? How to display the gospel in marriage publicly and privately? What does it mean to submit to elders? How to balance friendships in and out of the church? How do you stay connected to everyone in a fast growing church? What does covenental membership look like in the ever changing chapters of life… does it look differently? how do you blend into one act accountability and grace? How do our giftings fit in when there are so many needs? How can we make much of the Holy Spirit in our lives and at church? Have we downplayed the Holy Spirit in the past? How do you seek racial harmony in church? Those are the questions and quests and struggles and desires we have encountered at TCC. And there are many more that I haven't mentioned.
These things have been great things to challenge and grow us as a married couple and as a couple desiring to be in ministry and possibly even church planting in the future.
Dan and I have a heart for the city. For some time our hearts have been turned toward the northeast (boston, NYC, etc..) and maybe God will lead us there someday. Right now we are working on growing in the faith and learning to live daily in the power of the gospel, getting out of debt and building a network of prayer warriors and friends that will encourage us to grow and be there praying for us during lonely dark times and rejoicing when victories are won! The past four years have definitely been ones where those goals have been happening!
I wanted to end on some things that I am forever grateful to Treasuring Christ Church for:
- Loving us
- Their Commitment to the gospel no matter how "big" or "little" the sin is.
- Their desire for the inner city!
- Their love for adoption
- Their immediate and enduring bearing of burdens when we lost our son and as we still miss him
- The friendships we entered the church with (most close friendships go all different ways after college but so many of ours were ones we have lived out church with the past 4 years)
- The friendships I have met at TCC. I love getting to know the new members and see what unique aspects they bring to the church and to my life.
- An intimate look into planting a church and the trials and joys that brings
- Dan's mentorship with Sean
- The 2 community groups we've been in; WF always encouraging and loved us even as our hearts were laid bare before them. RAL walked beside us during intense suffering and an active pursuit of holiness in our lives.