Four years ago today at this very moment…
We were setting up a room above a bar that a generous family had made available for us to use to start a church in Kalispell, Montana. We didn’t know how many chairs to set out, I think we landed on thirty. It turned out to be twice as many as we needed. We believed God was going to do something special and we prayed for Him to move in power. We tried to make every single person who showed up (all 14 of them) feel special and know how stoked we were that they came. We worshipped God in song and then opened the Bible, read it, explained it and applied it in the clearest way possible.
freshlife church was born!
the location of the first freshlife service, we met above the VFW bar
There was no way to know at that moment what God had just unleashed, that a movement had begun. It didn’t feel like we were on holy ground or anything. As I recall, the first service was special but felt a little awkward. We didn’t know all that God had in store for this church…but we wanted to find out. We had the promise of power from on high, and a dream of a city turned upside down by the gospel. We were weak, but we held on to the promise of God’s strength. We were few but we prayed that God would let us reach many. Oh yeah, and we were freezing. I’m serious. Stinking cold. It didn’t help that we moved to Montana in what turned out to be the coldest week of 2007. But we wanted, with all our hearts, to make Jesus famous in this beautiful valley and beyond.
As I look back on this journey and think about all that God has done–I’m overwhelmed. It has been exciting, terrifying and full of adrenaline. Truly the adventure of a lifetime. I have seen God’s provision; both on the peak and in the valley. I have had my faith stretched in ways you can’t experience with a safety net. I have been blown away time and time again by the power of His Word released in people’s lives.
I am thankful for my wife who has been the best partner in this story God has been writing. I am grateful for 3 beautiful daughters who are cheerleaders for what God is doing and pray for people to come to know Christ. I am blown away every day by the team that God has assembled at this work. They are high caliber, high octane and a whole lot of fun. I especially want to thank those who moved here in faith at the beginning, when there were no buildings, there was no promise, there was just a dream. I honor them. And I am continually amazed at the depth, the love and the spiritual excitement of the body at freshlife. They get the vision and are ready to storm the gates of hell to reach the lost. Let’s do it.
Above all I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner. I sense that in these past four years the concrete has just been poured. Now that the foundation is in place we are about to see God’s plan unfold in ways that would make us gasp if He told us today. That’s just how Jesus rolls.
Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.