“If this is real, it will spread.”
This phrase kept going through my head as I prayed about the beginning days of Center City Church at the end of 2009. We had been meeting in our living room with a small group of friends that committed to come alongside us to start a new church community in Uptown Charlotte.
We decided to go completely word of mouth at the outset of this new church family. If what we were experiencing in our hearts was real, I genuinely believed it would spread. And it did.
I remember my mind racing and imagination going wild as 2009 was winding down. The start of a new decade was upon us, and Center City Church would move out of our living room and into a public venue (which eventually turned out to be the auditorium of Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School). I prayed for everyone I knew that was a part of our team and everyone I didn’t yet know that would be impacted by this church. We printed a huge banner and put hundreds of names on there of people we were meeting and prayed over it every week. So many names that were written on that banner were healed, set free, and found hope in the loving arms of Jesus.
The next ten years would teach me so much about God’s grace, faithfulness, and care. My life would be forever changed in the course of the decade that followed, and I’m sitting in my home reflecting on an amazing ten years.
Countless lives impacted by the gospel, all four of our babies getting ten years older (and awesome-er), ten more years of marriage to my best friend, a masters degree, doctoral degree, and our sweet church family finding her footing in our community and bringing the life and light of Christ to so many folks. It also included a seismic shift in our family as we responded to the Lord’s call to move into a season of preaching, teaching, and writing full-time and transitioning the leadership of Center City Church to our dear friends, Jon and Jess Hernandez.
Here’s some questions I’m asking myself today as we are closing out a decade. I think that we can be so focused on the present day and the days to come that we forget to genuinely reflect on where God has taken us and his faithfulness along the journey. I hope that these questions help you to see the beauty and faithfulness of God in your life in the same way that I have seen him in my life.
In the last ten years…
- How would you describe your relationship with God?
- What bible verses have most impacted you?
- How did God show himself faithful to you?
- What books most impacted you?
- Was there a specific teaching (from your pastor or a speaker you heard) that impacted you?
- How old were you in 2010?
- Who were your closest friends in 2010?
- What new friends came into your life?
- Where did you live in the last ten years?
- What jobs did you hold?
- What were your educational highlights (school/degree programs, personal learning)?
- What major decisions did you make that significantly impacted your life?
- How is your health (weight, diet, medical) different from 2010?
- Name three mountaintop moments.
- Name three valley moments.
- What trips did you take that were highlights of this decade?
- What events (sports/concerts/fine arts, etc.) did you attend that were highlights?
- What did you start and finish?
- What did you start and not finish?
- What did you want to start, but never got around to it?
- Choose one word to describe the last ten years.