I love the stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love everything about the holidays: the time with family and friends, the football, the gift-giving and, of course, the food. This last week I was reflecting on all of the things for which I'm thankful, and I found my mind drifting to the church.
I've been part of Mercy Hill Lake Country since the summer of 2009. From the time we first arrived my wife and I fell in love with the people, mission, and philosophy that we discovered. We found a church home that faithfully proclaimed the Gospel and sought to dwell in deep community with one another. In 2011, I was asked to come on staff. In 2012, I was called to the teaching pastor role in Delafield.
Since my time as teaching pastor began I've seen God do amazing things. I've seen people from all walks of life called to salvation in Christ. I've seen more than 50 people from Lake Country be baptized. I've seen marriages restored and lives changed.
And all of it is due to the work of Christ in the lives of His people.
In addition, I've witnessed as our church grew from a 10 person core group to the 250 people who now call Mercy Hill "home". 18 months ago we added a second service. Now both services are filled, and our current location is at its limit. Even though the philosophy and mission have stayed the same, we find ourselves needing to go through changes.
Beginning on December 11th we will be holding Sunday service at Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland. In some sense this can feel like a difficult step: we will have to setup and tear down each week, leave a location that we truly love, and re-establish in a new (though very close) community. But the benefits far outweigh the costs.
With one service, our hospitality and children's areas will be able to more easily staff their needs. For the first time in 18 months we'll all be together in one service again. We'll have enough space so that visitors and congregants don't have to struggle to find a place to sit. Perhaps most helpfully, we'll be able to spend time at the new building before and after services. My hope is that this will help people more easily engage in relationships and find entryways to deep, meaningful community.
I give thanks for the opportunities the Lord has provided for us and I'm excited to see how He will use the next stage of our church life for His glory and for the joy of His people.
For all members of our church family, across all three locations, I ask that you please join us in praying for God to continue to move during this time of transition. For those of you who call Mercy Hill Lake Country your church home, we look forward to seeing you on the 11th!