I usually don't blog about church itself, but I want to share what's happening at our church, Navah KC, now that we've left our building at Plexpod in Westport Commons and our plan is "following the cloud" around Kansas City—becoming a scattered, nomadic church for a season.
It's a really neat story that's just begun.
I'm anticipating that God is about to do some really amazing stuff through this, and it brings me joy to share it with you. I hope it builds your faith as much as it's building mine.
Yesterday was the last day for Navah to meet in Plexpod Westport Commons. It was a bittersweet and reminiscent morning, and an incredibly powerful day.
I'll explain why and what's happening, but first, a little background through our lens.
Arriving at Navah Church
As church planters, we had just said one of the toughest "goodbyes" of a lifetime. We knew obedience to God meant leaving a church we'd birthed and poured ourselves into - one we'd helped begin.
Fighting against being one of those ministry statistics - the ones that core groups like to quote about how many sitting in the small, pioneering circle will eventually fall away - we didn't want to go.
But as our relationships with God drew deeper, we knew obedience meant opening our hands and our hearts to anything. Even stepping away.
The cliche "door closing, window opening" came true, and as we felt ushered into a new season, an invitation to check out Navah soon came. The first time we stepped into the beautiful ballroom at Plexpod Westport Commons, we felt at home.
And we knew: this was our stopping place.
A Prayer Answered
The atmosphere at Navah was light and welcoming. We enjoyed it so much, we didn't mind driving over 30 minutes into Midtown to attend.
The gentle ease into a new Sunday morning routine became a quick answer to our personal prayers. We soon learned the church itself was also basking in the power of answered prayer.
Although the only experience of Navah we've known is meeting at Plexpod, the church had only recently moved into the co-working space. The story was amazing to hear: God spoke years before that the small church of 150 people would move into the abandoned junior high building.
They'd looked out of their prayer room window and prayed for the impossible for several years, hanging on to a Word from God that it would one day be "home."
They were still in awe that it came true - a business bought the closed-down school, renovated it and then asked Navah to come be a cornerstone tenant during its opening. Evidence of the Holy Spirit in what felt like a miracle story gave us a taste of what would come as we linked arms with the church family and began attending.
For almost two years, we've been on board with the church's simple vision of "Jesus," and we've joined the mission of helping "bring home, make beautiful" each week as we've gathered at Plexpod.
That is until yesterday, which was our last day in the building.
Last Days and First Days
Last fall our Core Team shared the shocking update: The Lord made it clear our time at Plexpod was coming to a close. For a church that had grown to more than 500 people that filled the ballroom each week, it was shocking and startling.
It felt like an Abraham moment - God asked us to sacrifice our greatest blessing. Yet, no "turnaround" point came. As winter hit, the call was still clear - we were to move out of the building.
In a leadership move I'll never forget, the pastors sat on stools before the church family and asked the body to pray into the next season. They asked us to share any dreams, pictures or words of encouragement we received.
They distributed a survey to get everyone's opinions on how we felt about meeting corporately, gathering in homes and more.
In amazing, courageous leadership, they openly shared about the upcoming changes without an answer or any direction for the one question on everyone's minds,
"So, where are we going?"
And for five months - that's been the case.
We've waited on the Lord together to clearly reveal what's next. There were few, if any, answers.
Last week, just days before our final Sunday at Plexpod, a few of the pieces started coming together.
Where We're Going
The answer to the million-dollar question is still, "We don't know." But there's a few things we do know, and I'm pretty excited about it.
Ten years ago as Mike and I were entrenched in a different church planting story, we felt the same stirrings - an invitation to do church differently.
The call to revisit how God defines and sees "Church," "church," and faith community is here. And I am confident the next steps at Navah will bring understanding.
For the future months ahead, how many we don't know, Navah will be a nomadic church. We will be going where the Lord leads and opens up doors for us to meet.
Every-other week we will meet in our houses, much like the early church did.
And on the other weeks, we will be receiving and accepting the gracious hospitality from churches and buildings in the Kansas City Metro who open their doors for us to come in, worship, pray as family and bless the area surrounding it.
We will be intercessors - missionaries sent into all pockets of Kansas City - to bless spaces all over town. We want to link up with what God's doing and create a culture of unity and love.
Following The Cloud
The imagery God gave our leaders about the next season came from the Old Testament - the people of God followed a cloud. Where it stopped, they stopped. When it moved, they moved.
And for the next season in our lives, we'll be following this cloud all around Kansas City. We're pretty excited about.
Is it breaking the mold holding everything we've ever known about going to church on Sunday mornings? Absolutely.
Am I curious about what inviting friends to church looks like? Well, sort of (although I know we've got a huge space for Easter - more to come on that).
Is my parenting going to need intentionality as I play an even bigger role in teaching my daughter about Jesus? Yes and yes.
But am I convinced that God's heart and love for His church will be revealed through this process? More than ever.
Because friends - what we've become comfortable and familiar with in America when it comes to church is often lacking something.
And no better way to identify our idols and experience surrender than to give up the beloved church building.
I'm not saying a nomadic approach is the answer or better, and the leaders don't sense this is forever, but the shake-up is about to reveal some things - for all of us.
And I'm ready for it.
I'm sharing the story with you, and I plan to continue blogging about this, because as someone who writes a lot about faith - I believe this will be a great faith builder for all of us.
I'm just as curious as the next person about what's going to happen. How is God going to take a church meeting in Midtown, one with a lot of young families, and scatter it all across Kansas City?
How will we stay connected when we're scattered?
I await to watch Him work.
But I know He will - He always does.