Open The Doors and There’s The People by Christie Pettus

I remember the day we walked into OCF for the very first time not fully understanding why we were there but knowing deep down we were home…I remember Bruce Nelsen standing on chairs in the back so he could get the perfect picture of us surrounded by friends and family who loved my daughter and wanted to share in the day she was baptized…I remember sitting in awe at God’s ability to use others to give me strength to take a very specific leap of faith…I remember Ethan looking at Jeff as he came up from the baptismal pool and thanking God that we were blessed with a pastor who’s not only a great leader but also a dear friend…

Besides holding a special place in my heart, each of these moments have a couple of things in common. The location they occurred had absolutely no bearing on whether or not God showed up, and it was the people not the scenery that made them special.

As our church moves because God is telling us to move, I am reminded that I’ve never once looked forward to church on a Sunday morning because I can’t wait to sit in the comfortable chairs or stare at the artwork. It has always been, and always will be, about the people.

In the interim space that God has provided, I will still find joy in the little people I get to spend time with one Sunday a month and the conversations with their parents as they drop them off. I see the same looks on their faces that I once wore on mine as I raised young children and want them to know that they are doing God’s work even when it feels so very hard.

In our new building, I will eagerly anticipate the return of missions teams and hearing their stories of how God surprised them with blessings from those less fortunate just because they obeyed God’s call and said yes.

And if for some reason, God sends us in an unexpected direction, I’ll still love talking to our church family about how God is working in their lives. I will continually be thankful that He has chosen me and my family to be a part of such an amazing group of people who encourage me in ways they will never fully understand.

Yes, it is time for us to move, and I believe in my heart that God is telling us we need to act and go claim the land He has promised us. But no, God is not dependent upon a specific building to show up because He shows up every week without fail for His people and through His people. When we walk thought the doors of our new building, I will be thankful for all that God has done for our church, but it will always just be the backdrop to the people I see making a difference outside of those walls.