In Spring of 1995, First United Methodist Church Missouri City conducted a capital campaign to move from the Present Street campus to begin a new chapter on Lexington Blvd. The financial campaign, Standing at the Threshold, was an amazing step of faith. But because of their willingness to follow God’s leading, First United Methodist Church Missouri City was given new life along with new opportunities to impact the Kingdom of God.
Some 21 years ago, the leadership of First United Methodist Church Missouri City used the imagery of a door opening to the future that God had planned for the Church. Thank God they chose to do more than just stand at the threshold. And because they had the vision and courage to actually step through the door that God had opened for them, God was able to do extraordinary things in East Fort Bend and beyond!
I have spent the last month or so thinking about that congregation and what allowed them to be willing to stand at that threshold. I thought about Richard Burnham, who was the pastor that led that congregation. Yes, Richard gave the church incredible leadership and strong preaching, but I kept thinking there has to be something more. As I read the old newsletters and heard the stories, I finally got it! Richard was part of it, but there was something bigger at work! It was the laity, the people in the pews, who allowed God to grab hold of them and shape who they were as a people of God. When I looked back at that congregation, I could see as a community they were willing to take risks, they had a strong faith, trust in God, and an incredible spirit of generosity.
Today, because of that congregation’s willingness to stand at the threshold, we are being called to build on what they began. I believe we are not just Standing at the Threshold; I truly believe we are called to take the next step, which is Crossing the Threshold. We have to commit ourselves to the same spirit and willingness to be led by God like that community did so long ago. Trust me, it won’t be easy; but I do know a couple of things, not only will God be with us every step of the way, but we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that are cheering us on. We are surrounded by men and women who made the decision years ago to do more than just stand at the threshold.
Twenty years from now, when another congregation looks back at us, how will we be defined? How will you be defined?
- November 6: Defined by Faith (Joshua 3:3-17)
- November 13: Defined by Generosity (1 Chronicles 29:1-5)
- November 20: Defined by Risk (Matthew 25:14-18)