1013 by 2013
Before we moved to Pennsylvania from Illinois, I was sent an email that included a prayer. It was a prayer that I had never heard before (having not been from Pennsylvania). The prayer was given by William Penn in 1684. It was his dream for the city of Philadelphia.
“And Thou Philadelphia the virgin settlement of this province named before thou wert born, what care, what service, what travail have there been to bring thee forth and preserve thee from such as would abuse and defile thee. O that thou mayest be kept from the evil that would overwhelm thee, that faithful to the God of thy mercies in the life of righteousness, thou mayest be preserved to the end. My soul prays to God for thee that thou mayest stand in the day of trial, that thye children may be blest of the Lord and thy people saved by His power.”
The two parts that really jumped out to me were “that thou mayest be kept from evil”, and “that thye children my be blest of the Lord and thy people saved by His power”. And then I began to think. Has that prayer been answered? Has it happened?
And my conclusion was that it’s probably happened in small ways. Here and there – answers to the prayer. But has there been anything faith related that has captured the attention of thousands? Has there been a faith community that has been the answer to any part of that prayer?
My sense is, that’s not the case. And here’s what I want. Here’s what I’ve been dreaming about. I want the church to be the answer to that prayer. I want the church to be the answer to a prayer given by William Penn back in the day. I can't speak for every church in this area, but I do know that Fellowship Church has swung the door wide open on being the type of faith community that cannot be explained. We want God to use us to bless others and help people see His amazing power! To help with that, we've set our feet in the direction of reaching 1,013 attenders by 2013. We say it like this, "ten-thirteen in twenty-thirteen"!
It's time to get to work! It's time to serve, invite, care, and give like never before. It's a big dream, but we will not play it safe. Our need for God is huge! 1013 in 2013. With God nothing is impossible!