We are in the homestretch of the merge between our two churches, InRoads and Neighborhood Church, into our new church Cedars. As excited as I am, it will be so hard to say goodbye to these churches that we love and worked with for so long. Although this is true for both churches, I, Jeff Harris, will speak on behalf of InRoads.
As of January 20, 2017, InRoads Christian Church will stop existing. Although this church has affected many people and has made a difference in people's lives, the reality is that it will be no more, and that will be difficult for some people. I have found myself having to mourn the loss of something that has played such an important role to me, as well as to all of the people who gave their lives, prayers and energy into making InRoads successful over the course of the last 15 years.
I, Joel, will speak on behalf of CBNC. We are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” (Hebrews 12:1). These witnesses are past CBNCers who have blessed us with their ministry, their love, their crying with us in our pain, their loving us through our journey. These people walked with Jesus and brought us closer to Jesus. We owe them a huge debt. They are our spiritual parents, they are the pastors, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, members, and ones who prayed with us to receive Christ, or through some difficult transition. Thank you, CBNCers.
We're taking time this Sunday to celebrate but to also say goodbye. It's hard, but hard is not wrong, hard is just hard. New faces, new styles, new ministries, and it will be awkward to know that something you loved and worked for is gone. No matter how great the new thing will be in its place, there will be a knowledge that there is a loss. And that is okay. The staff and leadership of Cedars Church will be praying for everyone during this transition, knowing that it will not be easy. Many at InRoads and Neighborhood Church are saying goodbye as we let those let these two churches “die.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
- John 12:24
Our desire is that the death of InRoads and CBNC will bear much fruit. It will hurt, it will sting, but at the end, God will be glorified.
So cry a little, get choked up. Remember all that God has done. But please also look to the horizon because a new day is dawning. To all of those who called InRoads and CBNC home, know that we hurt with you, but we are more than excited about what God will do with us together.
Cedars Church, we can’t wait. But let us take some time to feel the reality of saying goodbye.