Thank you Centre Church Lismore
My heart was moved when we visited Centre Church at Lismore.
There were so many things I loved about this church. You know the cartoon the road runner where Coyote’s mouth always seems to gape – that was me. Walking through a day with my mouth wide open going wow.
I loved the old building they met in. My imagination went a little wild with all the wonderful kingdom parties you could throw in a theatre like that. I loved the school they had established and my heart was moved by the vastness of the vision, the perseverance and diligence of love required to build and establish the vision. It was a beautiful vision.
I love seeing vision unfold and come to life. It is one of the great adventures of life.
This gorgeous church is brimming with vision. Vision for prayer for the city; vision to bring good to the city! They have two people in their church both competing for the position of mayor – how awesome is that! They have vision for the littles; vision for music; vision for education. They overflow with vision. The rich heritage of the apostle at work was plain to see.
Whilst the vision moved me, captivated me – because I am a bit of a vision junky – what moved me most were the sons and daughters.
It was so apparent how they do their church.
- The genuinely love one another.
- They were family to each other.
- They were fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters to each other.
- They were proud of each other.
- They cared for each other.
- They belonged to each other.
- They talked to each other about their partners, their kids, their joys, their disappointments.
- They trusted Rod and Margaret and Rod and Margaret trusted them.
- They loved hanging out with one another before church, after church, in church.
- Space was always being created for one more.
- They were family to one another.
I was staggered by the 20 and 30 year olds! Across this nation we are missing in leadership the 30 year olds. But not at this church. I loved watching how they related to the vision, the foundation and dreams established by the previous generation. They were helping their mum and dad build the vision, build the house, build the dream. Layering it with beauty.
Filling the vision with loyalty, faithfulness and diligence.
Creativity abounded and you could see the freedom that they had to create, to express, to add touches to the vision.
When I looked at Lismore and its geographical area I expected to find a church that would struggle to keep its young. I understand the need to move for education and opportunity in employment. But over and over again I met young uns who had deliberately chosen the vision, chosen to be planted, chosen to stay and love the local city, to pioneer.
I loved how Rod and Margaret were so proud of their brood of chicks. They just kept telling us about this one and that one who was achieving this dream and doing this part of the vision. Their language was one of constant support and encouragement in the endeavours of their people. I loved it. I was so inspired. There was such a willingness by Rod and Margaret to release their brood of chicks to minister to the city. Limitless connections with all kind of resources to help them!
I think if Rod and Margaret were to say, like Paul said to the church in Ephesus, that they wouldn’t see each other again – the church would weep. Because just like the elders and Paul loved one another, so too does this church. Hearts would break because they deeply love one another.
To see a church learn to love one another and to allow God to do deep work within you so that you have the character to deeply love and engage with one another is a beautiful gift.
I know that to build that kind of church has taken a lot of years, a lot of patient parenting, a lot of prayer, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of shelter, a lot of suffering and a lot of perseverance. Thank you. Thank you to Rod and Margaret. Thank you to the people of Centre Church for being part of the Holy Spirit’s work in helping love to flourish.
One thing I’ve learned is that men of vision are never finished. They pretend retirement but in their heart they are always seeding vision. Just one more…
I know there is seed for a church plant, a seed to release sons to pastor another town, another group of lost hearts. My prayer is that the sons will find their call, their place and that another beautiful community of lostness will find life.
So Thank You Centre Church Lismore