A Time to Close…

           


Taking Up Blogging #32

August, 2019                  

Friends,

As I sit here on a summer day I am amazed at how fast summer has flown by and how soon it will be fall and school and all the rest.  Things NEVER stay the same.  Change is one of the few constants in life. It is true of people; it is true of situations; and it is true of churches too.  And some change feels like loss. Today is one of those days for me.

Sixteen or so years ago Westwood Church felt led to help to plant a new church in Omaha, well it turned out to be Papillion, NE.  So we called a new pastor, Darrin Kimpson, and we sent some families to begin this new work called Papio Creek Church.  And initially the church really did well.  It found a unique calling, very different from Westwood.  It found a community to love and proceeded to represent Jesus to their neighbors and friends.  And many, many lives are different today because of Papio Creek Church.  But, sadly, the last few years have been very hard for Papio Creek and a few weeks ago their leadership board (elders and deacons) decided that God was closing that ministry.  So this month Papio Creek will officially cease to be. 

It is easy to view closure as failure, and I can fall into that trap rather easily too, but I encourage us to view it differently.  God has used Papio Creek in tremendous ways.  Many families, many people walk closer with Jesus because of that church.  I am so proud of how lovingly and strongly they have represented Jesus to their world.  Of course I’m sad that their ministry is ending but God moves the pieces of His Kingdom around as He prefers and I am content to trust that. 

We have learned a lot about the church planting process from our experience with Papio Creek. There were some choices made, some decisions that we feel great about today, but also some that we would do differently.  But in the end: Papio Creek Church, Westwood Church, You Name It Church – they all belong to Jesus.  Jesus is the groom and the church His bride.  I believe that Papio Creek came along when it best suited the purposes of the Holy Spirit and that now, in this time of closure, the Holy Spirit is present and active too.

Thanks Jesus for Papio Creek Church!  Papio’s last Sunday will be August 11th.  Please pray for the Papio families and staff as they relocate to new places to serve. 

Blessings,

Pastor Scott