Proverbs 21:5 – Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

As I have prayed for the vision and direction of Center City Church, I keep on feeling the same thing. Slow and steady. Focus on the foundation. Focus on the people God has brought together. Don’t worry about three steps ahead. Focus on today.

I feel such a counterintuitive call as I lead Center City Church. Our team knows how to advertise, market, create buzz, create amazing websites, etc. But the more I pray, the more I feel like God is continuing to call us to a slow and steady approach to the beginning stages of this church. We will – one day – redeem all of the talent that our group has bursting from the seams. Artists, digital designers, musicians, administrators, leaders, etc.

I am encouraged by Proverbs 21:5. There is nothing wrong with all of those talents. There is nothing wrong with churches that use all of those tools at the very beginning of their church and have a huge launch for their community. But our call at Center City is one that has turned out to be quite understated. We have chosen to focus on the intangible things that most cannot see when looking from the outside in.

Cookouts. Time spent together. Listening. Talking. Sharing. Praying. Opening up. More cookouts. This is our call for today. And tomorrow.

I feel pressure (brought on by myself and what I know how to do in church planting) to present Center City to the community creatively. I have found that I am spending way more time communicating who we are rather than how we look to the community. This approach to church planting is way more time consuming, slow and methodical. I could easily spend my time working on graphics, marketing and digital communication. I love that stuff. But I find that the more time I commit to the people we already have, the more our vision of who we are crystallizes in the hearts and minds of all of us at Center City.

I am praying that I will not take hasty shortcuts, but that I would stay faithful to the specific call that God has placed on our hearts at Center City. It’s going to take much longer, but I am believing that good planning and hard work will lead to prosperity. Even if it takes much longer.

I love Center City.