We know the name of the church we are going to plant in Cincinnati!
I’m going to tell you in a minute, but first some context…
Some time ago I “hit a wall” in ministry. I reached a point at which I was ready to quit. I was ready to do anything but ministry.
I remember sitting in my blue Lazy Boy early one morning reading my Bible, desperately needing something, anything from God! Honestly, I was at a point where I wasn’t expecting to receive anything… but God gave me something anyhow. I picked up my Bible and read these words from God to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors.” (Joshua 1:6).
In those moments God pressed these words into my heart and made them my own. My call to ministry was reaffirmed and given new purpose. I knew then and now that I have been made to lead people into the life that God made them for and Jesus has promised to those who believe in Him.
These words were pivotal in my decision to remain in ministry.
Since being here in Georgia I’ve spent a lot of time working on the basics of our new church, a large part of which is the NAME! What will we call our new church?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about “Connection church” or “Connection Point church” or some variation of that… but it just didn’t “connect” (terrible pun!)
On December 2 the team from Mountain Lake Church took a road trip to a church called 12Stone church. This church changed its name from Crossroads to 12Stone to always remind them of what God had done and is doing in the life of their church. If you recall, when God, through Joshua, led the nation of Israel across the Jordan River they built a monument of 12 stones to always serve as a reminder of what God had done (Joshua 3-4).
As I sat in that service, listening to the preacher speak, all of a sudden things began to “click” in my head! I pulled out my little notebook and begin to write with a fervor reserved only for those “special moments.”
The story of Joshua, the memorial of 12 stones… all of this began to come together!
I recalled the moment when God pushed the promise into my heart from Joshua 1:6, “I have chosen you to lead the people into the land of promise.”
And then it occurred to me that before the people moved into the land of promise they had to tear down the walls of Jericho! They had to tear down walls before they entered the land of promise! And that’s when it struck me…
Our church’s name is “Walls Down Church.”
Now follow me on this… St. Paul talks about the war we are fighting, “We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
St. Paul says that we are to tear down the strongholds/walls that keep people from knowing Jesus! That’s what we will do! We are going to tear down walls that keep people from experiencing the life that Jesus promised… “a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).
Just like the people of Israel had to tear down the walls of Jericho before they entered into the land of promise there are many people who have walls in their lives that must come down before they move into the life that Jesus promised… and we’re going to help them do that!
In another passage, (Ephesians 2:14) St. Paul talks about the “wall of hostility” that separated the Jews and the Gentiles before Christ came and tore it down! As I read these verses I get excited thinking about how someday our church will be ministering in other countries seeing the walls of nationalism, racism, and religion torn down so that all people can worship the living and true God together!
We will be a church that tears down the walls that keep people from experiencing the life that Jesus promised!
And so there it is in a nutshell… we are Walls Down Church.
And now you know the rest of the story.