The first 40 Days of 2016 were critical. They gave us clarity and a renewed passion for the future of ECHO. In the wake of some of our recent leadership transitions and financial challenges, we wanted to have a clear sense that God is "in this." We feel like this is definitely true and God has shown us a number of things as a result. Here are a few of the things God showed us during our season of prayer:
#1: We weren't ready. Probably more than anything else, God has shown us that we weren't ready a year ago to pursue His mission for this church plant. We may have big dreams to change the city of Nashville, but God wants to change us first.
#2: We must keep changing. Church planting is really a series of experiments, constantly tweaking, taking risks, brushing off the dust, and starting all over again until something finally "sticks." We can't settle and don't have the luxury of becoming lax. We have to press forward, but we also must be willing to change again and again and again.
#3: Nothing has been wasted. God never wastes a moment in our spiritual journeys and He hasn't wasted a moment in our church planting journey, either. We can look back on the past 16 months and see several things that worked and several more that didn't work. Whether we kept doing something or not, nothing was wasted. The reality is that we began to feel like we were becoming stagnant in the fall, like we were missing something and we stopped growing. But every conversation, strategic shift, and decision to change has been a learning process. God wants us to learn from it all and always trust Him with the results. He is not finished, and growth IS coming.
#4: Prayer is still our greatest weapon. If the 40 Day Prayer Journey has done nothing else, it has brought us back to the foot of the throne of Christ, focusing our hearts where they need to be. This battle is best fought on our knees.
#5: Our current change is the biggest of all. In the wake of these past several weeks, God has shown us that we are at our most critical point. We have a new and fresh approach that we will be taking over the next several months and we believe it will give us the traction we have been wanting.
So, what's next for ECHO?
We believe God has given us a clear plan moving forward. This is the most crucial change we have ever made and it MUST work. We have limited time, limited resources, and limited people. Those are our challenges. Our advantage? We serve a LIMITLESS God.
So, what is this plan? What's the next big change? That will come in the next post.
What excites you about the new plan for ECHO?