I still have the piece of paper, my "church planting contract." In October of 2004, I committed to several things. One was that I'd stay in Gardner for at least 5 years. I fulfilled that one last October. Another was that our new church would plant another church within 5 years. Well, we're a few months late, but we're fulfilling that one as well.
There have been so many good things happening with the Love Wins:LGBT ministry, so many relationships built and so many people from the LGBT community that have been asking the Love Wins team, "tell us about your God" that we've decided to stop asking them to come down to Gardner and we're bringing TFC downtown.
I'm actually a bit late posting this because this Thursday will be the third gathering of "TFC Midtown." The gatherings have been quite a success so far, with more people hearing about it and planning to show up. I was there on the first Thursday and Andy was quite surprised by some of the people who did come.
Just think about this. A little over a year ago, the Love Wins teams entered the bars downtown with quite a bit of anxiousness, wondering how they'd be accepted. Now, we have a new campus of TFC a couple blocks from those bars and people who have been mistreated and rejected by the church are getting involved in a church and learning about the inclusive and transforming love of Jesus Christ.
This is a short blog post, considering the immensity of this step by our church. But I could write pages and pages and not communicate just how wonderful and amazing this is.