Starting a new church carries with it a great number of challenges, some more mundane than others (think bureaucratic paperwork). Church planters start new churches because they actually enjoy change and the challenges that come with it. That’s why so many of us new church pastors are a bit odd.
Just as starting a new church brings many challenges, it also brings many blessings. We get to see a people discover God and grow in their relationship with Jesus. There is the slight but significant change in language, when newcomers shift from talking about “your” church to “our” church.
The greatest blessings always involve people. The lifeblood of any church is her people. Here at LifePoint, we were privileged to start the church with a handful of people we already knew. When stepping out into uncertainty, it’s good to have a few familiar faces to accompany you.
We also have had the opportunity to meet many new people along the way. This has been one of my greatest joys as a pastor: watching God bring people into our church community and then making them a special part of our lives.
Justin and Claudia Gramm are two of those special people that God graciously led into our church. Justin came to us at a time when we were struggling to have good music during worship. From a humble beginning with just one person in the band (himself), Justin helped put together a fantastic team of musicians and vocalists. In a world of uncertainty, I could always be certain of one thing: our music would be done well.
As many of you may know, Sunday, January 25, will be Justin’s last day leading worship at LifePoint as he and Claudia begin to seek God’s next place of service. There has been no falling out or conflict. Life simply has seasons. God brought Justin and Claudia to LifePoint at just the right time and we believe God’s sense of timing is still intact.
Beyond the music, Justin and Claudia have added a friendliness and joy to our church that will be missed. While we will miss them at LifePoint, we can celebrate that they are still a part of God’s kingdom and God’s kingdom will continue to benefit from their many gifts. It’s an irony of the Christian faith that we can mourn and celebrate at the same time.
I thank God for the season we had together.