Dear City Church family,
For the past seven weeks, City Church has met on Sunday mornings at Charleston Progressive Academy (CPA) while the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry embarked on its initial stage of renovations. Many of us have assumed that we would return to the Music Farm and Children’s Museum after the work was completed at the museum. The Children’s Museum has now reopened.
Ever since we first realized that we would need to relocate, I have encouraged everyone to press in to God to hear what he might be saying to us in this season of change. Transitions and upheavals in our lives are often the very circumstances God uses to get our attention. And the things he uses to get our attention are often not the things he deals with once he has it.
As we transitioned to CPA, we altered our worship schedule from two services to one. Many of you have commented that this has created a sense of togetherness that had been lacking. Others noticed that the physical space at the school is much brighter and more conducive to connecting with those around us in the room. Families with young children have shared that the proximity of our Children’s Ministry feels safer and the classrooms offer a better learning environment. Many have commented on a sense they had that God was doing something new among us. We also have seen an increased number of guests at our service.
At the same time, many of us have a strong sense of attachment to the Music Farm. It has played a tangible role in fulfilling our mission to connect the de-churched of Charleston to the power and presence of Jesus Christ. For some of us, it has been the only church home we have ever known.
After much prayerful consideration by our Leadership Council, conversation with many of you, and contract alterations by the Children’s Museum, we believe that God is leading City Church to remain at CPA. We also believe strongly that he has called City Church to a renewed commitment to mission. We are to be a church that exists for those who are disconnected from Christ or his Church. The light we see in the room has served as a reminder that we are all to be the light of Christ to this community. The togetherness we appreciate is a reminder that there are many lonely and discarded people around us in our lives who long to know the inclusive embrace of Christ among his people. The secure learning environment for our children reminds us that our call is not merely to babysit or entertain them, but to disciple them in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
As God would have it, we received a new contract proposal from the Children’s Museum only after beginning to discern that God was leading us to remain on the school campus. It served as a confirmation. The terms offered by the Museum are completely in line with their pursuit of their commendable mission to the families of the Lowcountry. However, they would now require City Church to be exposed to unpredictable relocation of and disruptions to our program for our children on any given Sunday to accommodate their activities for that day. We also would have to consent to their staff, volunteers and partners having access to all but one of the rooms we lease during the same time that we are using it. While the Children’s Museum is a really cool place for kids to play, it has its challenges for use as a secure place to disciple our children. The terms of the contract make it much more difficult. We are grateful to them for providing us the opportunity to use the museum and pray that God blesses their commitment to the welfare of children.
This Sunday after worship, the Leadership Council and I will be available near the stage to answer questions that any of you might have. I am grateful to God for his generous provision for City Church. As you receive and process this news, please take time to pray. God desires us to bring all that we are to him – excitement and disappointment – because he cares for us. This then enables us to go forward with him. He is moving among us and preparing us for this next season of ministry together. Keep pressing in to God. He is not finished with us yet.
See you on Sunday.