If I had to pick a “most influential” pastor/church that has encouraged and inspired me it would be Mark Batterson @ National Community Church in D.C. I think the first time I seriously thought that the idea of starting actionchurch was more than a insane fantasy was at the Buzz Conference at NCC’s Union Station location. Mark’s books (In a pit with a Lion & Wild Goose Chase) have inspired and motivated me along the way. Besides…he’s one of the most approchable and “normal” leaders I have ever met.
I thought it might be helpful to share this from Mark’s blog in light of our current venue search. We are not alone. It happens. God uses it for Good.
“Thirteen years ago I got a voice mail telling us that the DC public school we were meeting in was closing because of fire code violations. It knocked the wind out of me. I didn’t feel like a pastor yet. The church didn’t feel like a church yet. We could have ceased to exist and only a couple dozen people would have known the difference. But those are the moments you need to hang in there so you can see what God is going to do! And God opened an amazing door of opportunity at Union Station. We initially met in the smallest theater and my big dream was that we would fill half of it so it didn’t feel awkward.
Last week I got a similar call, but this time I was informed that Union Station management is closing down the movie theaters. So Sunday I preached my last sermon @ Union. Hard to believe. We did the math and I’ve preached at least a thousand sermons at Union Station.
Still processing lots of mixed emotions. I’m sad because Union Station is the locus of so many amazing spiritual memories. But I’m also grateful. God took us from a ragtag group of fifty people and turned us into a multi-site church with five locations. We’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people find Christ there. And we’ve touched thousands and thousands of lives. But a chapter ends. And a new chapter begins.”