A Birthday Is an Ebenezer
On March 19, 2017, Imprint Community Church held its first public Lord's Day worship gathering. We were a bit uncertain about what to expect, and we definitely had a lot to learn and many ways to grow, but we knew this much: God is faithful (1 Thess. 5:24), and Jesus is committed to building his church (Matt. 16:18). That was two years ago (as of yesterday).
And we're still here.
In 1 Samuel 7, after the Ark of the Covenant has been returned to Israel, Samuel leads God's people in a season of repentance and renewal. (Hear the sermon here.) The final step in this process of repentance and looking to God for his mercy is the raising of an "Ebenezer" - which means "stone of help." Samuel erects a monument to God's faithfulness, and leads the people of Israel in remembering and celebrating his goodness to them, saying "Till now the Lord has helped us" (1 Sam. 7:12).
It occurs to me that the second "birthday" of Imprint is a good opportunity to raise an Ebenezer. To look back on God's faithfulness to us - his work IN us and THROUGH us - through these first two years of life as a church. Here are a few evidences of God's work that come immediately to my mind:
- The birth of a covenant-based community of faith
- A good relationship with Seven Oaks, our current "home
- Several new believers, including six baptisms
- Christians growing in grace & knowledge of Christ
- Meaningful relationships and gospel seeds in the community
- Struggling people helped by the church
- A venue for the regular preaching of God's word
- Local ministries supported (Women's Care Center, 9Marks Ministries)
- Global ministry initiated (Christ family to Zambia)
- More-than-adequate financial provision
What evidences of God's grace to Imprint come to your mind? How has God worked in your life through Imprint's community and ministry? On Sunday, March 31 we'll share a celebration lunch after our worship gathering. You'll have an opportunity there to publicly share an "Ebenezer" moment. I'm looking forward to a time of mutual encouragement, and worship to God for his sustaining grace to our young church!
Happy Birthday, Imprint!
Which is just another way of saying, "Till now the Lord has helped us."