As Cornerstone Church celebrates its 10 year anniversary, I am drawn to the story of the Hebrew people in the wilderness as recorded in Numbers 13-14. These are the chapters that show 12 spies in the Promised Land, assessing God’s provision and strategizing on how they will take the land God has promised. At some point in their tour of duty, 10 of the 12 spies become petrified. They fear the giants and quit trusting their Guide. They are so scared that they’d rather go back to the chains of Egypt than proceed in faith to fight with God for the Land.
How foolish this sounds to us? What Jew would choose to go back to the horrors of German concentration camps? What African-American would choose to go back to the cotton fields of the pre-Emancipation Proclamation South? Oh, but are we that different? I’ve known churches that feared the unknown so much that they never tried anything different. They played the same songs, preached the same sermons, offered the same Vacation Bible Schools, kept the same carpet, and even kept the same leaders for decade after decade.
Do you know what happens to churches like that? The ones that fear the unknown so much they fail to hear God’s future plans for them . . . One of two things happens: 1) Nothing remarkable ever happens and everyone leaves and goes to the church that is trying new things or 2) Everything horrible happens and everyone leaves and goes to the church trying new things. In many ways at this 10 year celebration we can celebrate God’s faithfulness and victories. But we are only partway on the journey. We must not fear and run back to familiar territory. God has even greater things in mind for this church if only we walk out in faith. May we be a people who keep our eyes on the Guide and not on the giants.