The Road Ahead
In August we will celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Harbor Church. What an amazing journey it has been! From a handful of volunteers furiously cleaning the Oriental Theater while trying to provide a kids church experience on a “hygienically suspect” lobby floor, to outgrowing our space, moving to Trinity Church, rebuilding a stage, expanding HarborKids, hosting events, launching Welcome Home Brunches, serving meals to the homeless, sending mission teams around the world, and continuing to welcome home the hurting and messy, Jesus has been incredibly faithful every step of the way.
Once again Jesus is calling us forward through faith and action to embrace the next step in our story as Harbor Church. This past Spring it became clear we needed God to open doors for a new facility. Our HarborKids church continues to grow as well as our need for greater flexibility during service on Sunday mornings. The Leadership Team and staff began praying and pursuing options and just as He has done every step of our journey, Jesus made a way we didn’t anticipate.
Paul Mitton (Executive Director of Converge Rocky Mountain) introduced us to the leadership of CityView Church in Westminster. CityView was faced with the departure of their Lead Pastor and a desire to move from their current space. Paul felt we shared a similar vision and values and that perhaps we could become better than the sum of our parts. So in May, we began meeting, praying, and dreaming with the elders and staff of CityView. Very quickly it became clear God’s desire was for us to come together as one church under the umbrella of Harbor Church.
On July 1, after speaking at Harbor, I drove up and spoke at CityView. Following the service we had about 30 minutes of Q&A then their congregation took a formal vote on whether to merge with Harbor Church. It was so humbling and moving when they announced the vote passed with 100% in favor!
What this means is over the next couple weeks you can expect to begin welcoming the 70(ish) folks from CityView into our service and into our lives. Also, by coming together and pooling our resources we have the ability to get into a facility that can be ours. This is so exciting! After looking at where each congregation is primarily from, we identified the area near 88th and Sheridan as the sweet spot of overlap for each. We are actively in negotiations with a property now that I hope to share with you in the next couple weeks. Our hope and prayer is that after the necessary construction “build-out”, to move into the new facility within the next 3 – 4 months.
This can be a lot to take in. If there has been one constant in our story as Harbor Church, it has been change. Change in how we have met the needs of our kids, the change in our service time and change in our location. Yet, through it all, God continues to bless us, and change lives for His purposes and His Kingdom. On June 24th I spoke on how a “hero embraces the change that will lead to changed lives.” I believe that is what each us are being called to do now. This merger with CityView is the change that we are being called to embrace that will lead to greater changed lives. It is another faithful step forward in our story as Harbor Church. We have attached the handout we gave June 24th that lays out several of the key details. Please take time to read through it HERE.
I am excited as I look at the road ahead for Harbor Church. I am excited about welcoming the families from CityView, I’m excited about reaching more people with the transforming power of the message of Jesus’ love and redemption, I’m excited to see how God uses our faithfulness to continue to build His Kingdom in tangible ways, and I’m excited to continue welcoming home those who are hurt and messy.
I’ll close by sharing a verse from the book of Joshua. Joshua and the Israelites were at a crossroads. They were faced with embracing the change of crossing the Jordan River into a place they could call their own, or remain where they were as wanderers and nomads. Though it was clearly God’s intention, it was still a lot of change that came with uncertainty and anxiety. Into these emotions, God speaks.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
God is for us, and He is in this! This is the change we are being called to embrace because it will lead to more changed lives.
I am so thankful for you all and so look forward to the stories of changed lives that will result from our faithfulness. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email me or any of the leadership.
Pastor Joel Thomas
You can listen to the full announcement message here:
Series: Heroes | Message: Losing is the New Winning | Pastor Joel Thomas | June 24, 2018