One of my favorite movies is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's a film about 3 teenagers who skip school to have fun in downtown Chicago with the goal of not getting caught. In one scene of the movie they find themselves in an art museum. As they are looking at the art on display, Ferris' friend Cameron stops to gaze at one in particular. At a glance it just seemed like an ordinary painting of people enjoying a day at the park. But the closer you get, you realize that this is no ordinary painting. The painting is not made by layers of paint spread over the canvas. Rather, this painting was created by placing thousands upon thousands of small paint dots together. Up close, as the painter (George Seurat) must have been, these dots seem random. But as one steps back a few steps a remarkable work of art is seen.
It would be easy to look at our launch date and think that it was just a matter of setting a few milestones, raising a few bucks, and making a website. But honestly, church planting is about thousands of dots being placed in such a way that a community of faith is formed. Our ministry this past year is not measured in attendance or programs but rather in God ordained, Spirit led conversations. Each of these a dot on the canvas.
The first dots began with God's call to Buffalo. Many more dots were placed as we spent a full year preparing and praying for Anchor Church. We now have spent a year living in the neighborhood on mission. And through this year we have seen many more dots painted. We found God moved through our partnership with Village Church, to bring us support, members, resources, and encouragement. Each of those a dot of paint. It took many dots to form credibility, which has lead to me (Steve) becoming a board member for North Buffalo Organization (www.northbuffalo.org). Dots were placed slowly over a year to build a relationship with North Park Lutheran Church and North Park Community Pre-K, which has opened the door for us to have a space to worship. We saw God placing dots on the canvas as broken, hurting, and lost people have made their way to our doorstep and into our hearts. Dot by dot God has been creating a piece of art.
Now as we approach the launch of Anchor, we are beginning to step back and see how beautiful these collection of dots are. There are many more dots to paint. Many more people to meet. And many more dots of new faith, dedications, and baptisms. Dots of empowered service, generosity, and love.
Jesus said, "I will build my church...". We are seeing it happen. One dot at a time.