Celebrating 28 Years

This is an excerpt from Sunday’s message at Indian Creek. This weekend we celebrated the anniversary of the launch of Indian Creek Community Church. We are celebrating that we are 28 years old. We give thanks to God for His vision and His provision. I illustrate the amount of risk and faith that it took for one small group of 17 adults to follow what they believed was a call of God to launch out in faith and start Indian Creek Community Church.

We believed we were to be a force for God and for good. We wanted to be light and grace to lead people to discover real life in Jesus. That group was active in sharing their faith with their friends.

We have been a church built around community groups from before we began. We started Indian Creek from a group. It was one group of 17 adults that was the core for launching the church.

What if someone in your group said one day, I think God wants us to start a new church in Olathe…what would the others say?

Let’s say that, miraculously, your group seriously entertained the idea. Who would do what—because everybody has to do something if your group is going to become a church? Can you imagine who would speak, who would write the business plan, who would handle the money, who would organize communications, who would work with children, who would lead worship—because everybody has to do something.

Now let’s imagine that you don’t have much money, you are long on vision and short on cash—that’s not hard to imagine, right J? What will you say to each other about this calling—this will only work if we all tithe! We are going to pool our money, our talents, our time, our very lives to live out God’s will for our lives.

Think of the commitment. Imagine looking around the circle and saying to each other, if this is going to happen, it is on our backs. There is no starting and then giving in we’ve got to do whatever it takes. It might be months or even years before we grow enough to hand off our job to another. We didn’t have money to advertise so we went from door to door and knocked on 2,000 doors in two years to cast vision for Indian Creek.

Carol Lytle volunteered to organize operations. Gary Burrell and Gary Kendall drew up the business plan. Carol Moore offered to lead worship. Marsha Fahnestock volunteered to take care of all the accounting and bookkeeping. Valera Bachman led the prayer team. Judy Burrell hosted many functions in her home and it helped that she knew everyone in Olathe. Belinda led the children’s ministry. Steve Rockwell and Debbie Ross joined Gary and Gary as the first officers and board.

I want to stress that we were normal, average Christ followers without any training on planting a church and none of us were wealthy. We were probably much like your community group. We certainly didn’t have the deck stacked in our favor.

What made this church plant so fruitful it has become one of the most significant churches in Johnson County and a church that has had a national and international impact in 28 years? We were completely surrendered to the will of God. We were surrendered to the will of God.

We were honest enough with our faith to say, God, use us however You would.  When we discerned He was leading us to plant a church, we trembled but we didn’t back down. We said, Whatever you say Lord.

It was like the prophet said in Isaiah 6:8, Here I am send me.

Out of that there are many things for which I’m thankful—but there is a clear #1. There are many signs of fruitfulness I could give you but my favorite is that because 17 adults sold out and obeyed God, surrendered it all, 28 years later, even conservative estimates are that at least 2,000 persons have discovered real life in Jesus through Indian Creek. And that is just one small piece of an ever-developing story.

Let’s give God a big thank offering for His faithfulness!