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Reflecting on Five Years

matt five year

I’ve always preached from a music stand. In February five years ago in my basement, it was no different. Each time, I stand up, dependent and scared. What will God do? Maybe He will raise someone from death to life in the gospel. Maybe He will strike me down. I remember saying to the 17 people there, seated around the communion table in front of our built-in bookshelves, “I’ve preached for hundreds, even thousands, but never a handful in my basement.”

Who knows what God’s going to do. We can’t do but what He has called us to do, today, in this moment. Over the past five years, He has both raised people from death to life, and struck me down.

It was a humbling moment to stand up at our celebration a few weeks ago—five years later. Nearly 340 kids and adults came to the Silver Spring Civic Center to worship Christ and the work He has done these past few years. It took my breath away, along with my words (which is no easy feat for a preacher).

I held onto that music stand, grasping for what I hoped to say to everyone, looking out at the faces of men, women, and kids who have had their eternities changed, and changed the eternities of many others. PhDs who have clung to Christ for hope. Worship leaders who moved their families to help launch a church plant. Supporters who gave thousands in cash and prayers. Neighbors who now live for Jesus. First time visitors who are now connected into Community Groups.

It’s a humbling thing, to have a vision for a new church, to see God plant it, and then to fall in love with the people He has gathered around His Son. I lost it when we watched the baptism videos. The gospel saves people. Nobody can change a life like He can. It is an amazing grace that He chooses to work through all of us to bring the good news to our neighbors, coworkers, and friends. Wow. I’m reminded of what God says in James 4:17, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” We have seen so many people step up and, by faith, do the good they ought to do. And look now at what God has done. Something amazing and eternal because of your active faith and obedience.

So go, and do the good He has called you to do. Offer forgiveness. Pursue relationship with your lonely neighbor. Ask your coworker to coffee, offer to pray for her. Give your money to the work of the gospel. Risk to walk into whatever faith- filled step He has for you.

Do what you know you ought to do—follow Jesus. You have no idea what He will do through you in the next five years.