I always wondered what last Sunday would be like. We started The Water’s Edge in 2006. I never thought it would take twelve years to move into a building.
I woke up in doubt. I wondered if my sermon contained the right words. I wondered if our tech team would be able to pull off a good Sunday knowing they had just a few days to learn how to use all the equipment. I wondered if there was going to be too much traffic congestion between worship experiences. I worried if we would actually have more people than normally show up.
So I prayed. God helped me discover, again, this is His church and He has things under control. I became grateful for all the staff and volunteers who were excited and would be passionately serving. I become confident that this would be one of the best mornings ever.
I pulled into the parking lot. I was one of the first people here. Such isn’t always case. The building was wonderful. Beautiful and fun. Functional and quirky. In the next few hours over 1,400 people of all ages would walk through the really big doors.
Some of the people present had been waiting for this day for over a decade. They invested time and money and energy to make this day happen. They are pioneers. This building at 19600 Harrison Street will always be part of their story and legacy.
Some of the people present were curious, new people. What does a new church look like? Will I fit in here? What is this church all about? I have been praying that all our guests would celebrate that they were present on the day chapter two started and The Water’s Edge will, from this day forward, be part of their story and legacy.
My message was a message of grace. It’s actually God’s message. I just get to contextualize it. Hopefully the person who was at our first service at Russell Middle School heard the message in the same way as the person who decided to give church another try: Every last one of us is invited to the party. No exceptions. Our place in God’s Kingdom and Christ’s Church has nothing to do with seniority or how good we are or how much we give or how much we have messed up or how we feel about ourselves. Our place in God’s Kingdom and Christ’s Church has only to do with the Son who invites everybody to the party and everybody means anybody.
If this morning is your first or second time with us—on behalf of the early pioneers and all the other pilgrims who have joined along the way—we hope, we pray that The Water’s Edge becomes your church. And we encourage you to invite and bring whoever to the best party ever: The Kingdom of God. And just so you know, WE aren’t perfect. WE make mistakes. But WE also take care of each other, serve our city, love children, invest in students, give to people who need more than us, grow together, and worship God.
I’m super excited to write Chapter 2 with you!