To the Community of Believers of The Woods Church
Woods Church Family,
I write to you today to declare with boldness that we are on the brink of God doing a new thing in the life of our church. We’ve found ourselves in a time where American culture itself is a post-Christian society. Our world has become increasingly self-centered, isolated, and more distracted than ever. It has been made apparent to our staff and leadership that this culture has slowly slipped into the American church, leading us towards lesser things. I believe wholeheartedly that the hour is upon the church to make a course correction. God is calling us to a new awakening, and inviting us to be participants of a revival like we have never experienced.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve witnessed the winds of revival beginning to stir. It started this past August when God began convicting several of our staff in our personal prayer times. As we began to share what God was speaking with each other, we realized that there were some undeniable themes, revealing that these convictions weren’t just for us as individuals, but the church as a whole. Knowing that God desired to share His heart with us, we immediately decided to press in with greater fervency. Our staff and board committed to an extra hour of prayer every day, interceding for our church. Through this focused time in prayer, we have experienced conviction from the Lord for our own lives, for our families, and for the church we love! Much repentance has been made, tears have been shed, and the movement of the Holy Spirit in us has been often and evident.
We have heard a strong, unified call from the Lord: to lay aside our own desires, plans and especially our calendar of events. Because of this conviction, we have already implemented several changes to our winter calendar. Rather than simply carrying things over from one calendar year to another in the name of tradition, He is asking us to pause, listen for His voice, and wait for direction from the Holy Spirit. The Lord wants to bring about a new thing in our church, and that cannot transpire unless we surrender the old. Please hear my heart - this doesn’t mean that we are throwing everything out! It means that we are changing the way in which we plan. We don’t want to do anything unless we’re confident that it is His plan, not ours.
Church, God has so much more for us. We aren’t called to be a place where we gather for events. Our mandate is to raise up disciples for Jesus. Our call is to pursue the powerful presence of God daily, as individuals. We are called to have the greatest impact that we can on the people of our community, and around the world. We are called to structure our church around God’s greatest desires, not our own. We are called to follow the model of the early church in Acts 2. We are called to be a church who loves radically, worships wholeheartedly, and prays passionately. We are called to be presence driven, life-giving, and Spirit empowered. We are called to passionately pursue God and relentlessly reveal Jesus to the world.
So, here we are church. I don’t know exactly what 2019’s calendar looks like. However, I do know what scripture calls us to look like: a body of disciples, saturated in the Holy Spirit, following him and his commandments as if eternity depends on it.
I invite you to come along on this adventure with us by joining us in an hour of prayer every day for the church. Pray for the church's leadership. Pray that we would have the capability to hear clearly from the Lord and the courage to act upon His calling. Pray for a revival that touches every individual and spreads outside the walls of our church and into our communities. Pray for a deeper level in your personal relationship with Him, so that you will be ready to be part of this exciting new chapter of The Woods Church.
In relentless pursuit of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Pastor John MacDonald