November 3, 2016

Dear First Pres,

If you’ve been around on Sundays for the past few months you know that we are in the middle of a sermon series called Life On Mission based on Acts 16-20. Due to time constraints, I’ve had to leave a lot of material on the cutting room floor. But today I really want to pick up one of those pieces and highlight it here.

In Acts 18:2 we are introduced to Priscilla and Aquila. They are a tent making couple in Corinth who quickly, it seems, become close friends and coworkers with the Apostle Paul – coworkers both in the business of tent making and in the Gospel. Their connection and commitment to be on mission with Paul really comes through in Acts 18:18. There we learn that Paul left for Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquila in his company. And, according the rest of the chapter (verses 18-28), even after Paul left Ephesus Priscilla and Aquila remained there and played an important role in training Apollos for ministry. 

Perhaps that seems rather inconsequential to us as we look for the more dramatic stories in Scripture. But I think this little bit of information about Aquila and Priscilla gives us another wonderful glimpse of what it means to live our lives on mission with Jesus. “How’s that?” you ask.  They were so compelled by the power of the Gospel in their own lives that they were willing to relocate for the sake of advancing that same Gospel to others. Would you be willing to relocate for the sake of the Gospel?

Of course, some of you have done that. Some of you used to live elsewhere, but felt compelled by the Spirit to move into a different neighborhood for the purpose of participating in God’s work there. What an example, like Priscilla and Aquila, you have been for us. Now, I’m asking that all of us at least ask the Lord if He would want the same for us.

Why? It’s because, over the last five years, God has developed a neighborhood in our neighborhood.  I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there are several new housing developments within a few blocks of our church campus. They are beautiful new buildings full of urban lofts, business/residence space, and townhomes meant to accommodate those who want to live in our revitalizing downtown.  And I believe that in the construction of this new neighborhood, God has given our church a huge opportunity to make an impact for the Gospel.

So, for the last four years, I’ve been praying that God would either send to us people who are living in these new units or send some of us to live there. With the help of our Vision Team – asking how God wants to use our church in our context at this time – I’ve decided it’s time to go public with that prayer. I’m praying for five households in our church to move on purpose into these new downtown residences. Would you be willing to ask God if that’s His plan for you? If He says “Yes,” would you be willing to move? Would you be willing to relocate, like Priscilla and Aquila, for the sake of advancing the Gospel?

God is already at work in this neighborhood that has grown up within walking distance of our sanctuary. The question for us is whether or not we will be willing to join Him in that work. I’m praying that at least five of our households would be willing to go all in, and together seek the Kingdom of God in this new neighborhood. Let me know if you’re interested so that I can join you in prayer about this.

Blessings,

P.S. Please look below for important details about Re:New, some new employment opportunities at FPC Fresno, and other upcoming events.

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