Broken Walls, Broken Heart

Back in fall of 2015, when Renewal Church, our church plant, was only about 2 years old, Erin and I felt I felt called to something unexpected and, frankly, a little terrifying. Randall Church was without a pastor and was experiencing an exodus tidal wave of paid and volunteer leadership. This happened for a number of reasons; including job transfers, retirement, the mission field, or overall "fit" issues.

As our sending church, it was very important for us to know that Randall could remain healthy and sustainable for the future of both congregations. Feeling somewhat like Nehemiah and his call to rebuild the walls of his city to establish a safe place for his people to gather and worship, we believed the Lord laid it on our hearts for me to hand over the reigns at Renewal and pursue the Lead Pastor position at Randall.

The Lord has done remarkable things in this community of Christ followers in the last three years. With five generations present each Sunday, we are awarded the unique opportunity to worship and experience the greatness of God with a mighty 100 years of bandwidth! We are a unique people, but God is growing us deeper and wider. Each week, more and more people are finding their place upward in Christ, inward in the Church, and outward in the community. This church did not close, fold up, or give up hope. Instead, this church will reach 200 years old in 2026, and Lord willing I will get the honor of leading that ribbon-cutting ceremony! God is still faithful, and His Word is still true.

When Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem’s walls had been destroyed and her gates burned to the ground, he was devastated. As he wept for his home and his people, he did the one thing he knew to do: he sought the Lord. As a church, it seems as though we are walking through a time where many of our people are walking through really significant things. We must do one thing: we must seek the Lord.

This summer has been one of great loss, family trauma, and difficult health diagnoses for many in the Randall Church body. While many of you struggle through your specific situation and less than encouraging reports each day, we must, like Nehemiah, be reminded again and again that we serve a God of restoration and second chances. While many of these situations leave us equally terrified as Erin and I were in 2015 with what faces us now, our faith in Christ rests on the strength, sovereignty, and grace found only in Him.

As we study this Old Testament narrative together over the next three months, we’ll see how God indeed called Nehemiah to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. But today, as we read this prayer from a broken man for his broken city, may we, too, begin with prayer and confession.

"Let’s declare God’s goodness and recall His faithfulness. Let’s speak His promises back to Him, knowing that He has both fulfilled them and is fulfilling them right where we are. May God give us strength and courage for whatever work He puts before us, both the grand endeavors and the single acts of faithfulness; to the honor and glory of His name!"  —Amanda Williams

Milo Wilson


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