Heartland Vineyard Church has gone through many radical changes over its short 24 year history.
- From a living room to rented facilities to a 70,000 square foot Worship Center.
- From a tiny church plant to becoming one of the larger church in the Cedar Valley
- From 5 people in our living room to 5 pastors leading our church.
The list goes on.
This year has seen much change and especially in regard to a large turnover in our pastoral staff. These changes are never easy and usually very challenging. Every person on our staff is someone I love. Many of you have gotten close relationally to these staff members and there is a natural feeling of loss and even grief. What I have to keep in mind that this is God’s church, these are God’s people and He is truly leading our church as well as their lives into the future. I don’t always understand why these changes take place. But what I do know is that God is in complete control.
One very positive personal transformation that has taken place in my life during this season of change is the increased strength in my prayer life. I have been forced to become more dependent on God than ever before. I am praying both with my mind (praying in my English language) and with my spirit (praying in tongues). I am discovering not only that God answers prayer but he also brings refreshing to His children as they come to Him in prayer.
One morning as I was praying, a thought kept lighting on my mind. It was, “The ship is being refitted.” Not knowing exactly what that meant, I got online and found the following definition for “refitting ships or boats”.
Refitting boats includes repairing, fixing, restoring, renewing, mending, and renovating an old vessel. Refitting is one of the most important activities inside a shipyard. It offers a variety of services for an old vessel of any size starting with the construction itself and what is added to it, such as hardware, electric & hydraulic systems, entertainment systems, etc.
Refitting can be divided into several main subjects:
- Adding or replacing: for example replacing old deck equipment with new or refurbished ones.
- Modifying: for example modifying a yacht for participating in and winning a regatta.
- Customizing: for example customizing a yacht for the owner’s needs and desires.
- Modernizing: for example modernizing an old yacht with modern styling, technologies and systems.
- Restoring: for example restoring an old wooden boat for preservation.
As I thought about this, I sensed God comforting me and giving me vision for the future. God was urging me to understand that all these changes were for a purpose. His love for each of our staff members as well as His great love for our church saw it necessary to “refit the ship”.
Though the changes we have experienced can give you the feeling that all is lost, the truth is that God has a miraculous plan and as we walk with Him in faith, trusting His leadership, we will experience righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
In the Kingdom of God, there are no winners and losers. There are only winners. We are at this very moment overwhelming conquerors through Him who loves us.