I know, it’s been a really long time since we sent an update but that doesn’t mean things have not been happening…we are just operating under the radar.
Last August God really shook me up spiritually. We had everything coming together for a large launch and then two key components fell apart the same day… within minutes of each other. As I sat on the phone as the second thing was crumbling I checked out from the conversation and started talking to God…well if I am honest, it was more of a “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING???? I DON’T UNDERSTAND AT ALL!” In that moment I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart that God had a very different plan and that he wanted to take CityWell underground (There’s way more to this but let’s keep it brief).
Our team just wanted to start something…anything…so we decided to start hosting a home church gathering in September. About 1/3 of the team said “that’s not for me” and we lovingly released them to find a church family that would be filling for them. I had no experience with home church and began praying, studying, and looking to scripture to guide us on this new adventure. One of the questions I kept asking was, “What are the minimum requirements for something to be a church?” I write a little about this on our family blog. We realized quickly that there are things we see the church doing in scripture that are really hard for larger groups to truly live out.
On September 12th we hosted our first Micro-Church gathering in our home with 25 people (including kids). Afterwards we went out to serve a family whose basement had flooded with Ida. As we prepared for that project, I had started getting out my good camera to get pictures for social media but again felt God whisper to my heart “go read Matthew 6.” I only read verse 1, but since then we went pretty quiet on social media.
How’s CityWell doing now?
We are still meeting weekly in my home on Sunday’s at 9am. Most weeks we have 15-20 people (including kids). We eat together, study scripture, worship, and pray. The time is different than any typical church service I have been a part of, but I have heard from several families involved that they are being spiritually filled like never before. One of my favorite things is that everyone can be a contributor to the gathering (see 1 Corinthians 14:26).
We have also been specifically asking God what missional activities He is calling us to personally and corporately. In late November, the group felt lead to a specific demographic of people (I’ll leave it vague for now, sorry). We took a few weeks to continue to pray about it but around the same time God brought another ministry into the conversation who has been praying for God to provide people to minister to this demographic.
This month I’ll be meeting with the other ministry’s leadership team for approval and finalize some details. For us it will be micro-church #2, for the other ministry, it will be a program they have been praying for. Join us in praying for wisdom. If this is a God thing it will mean that in February CityWell will launch our second Micro-Church in a great facility, with an adequate budget, and a passionate team of leaders.
How are we (The Gricks) doing?
This fall Stef and I walked in more peace than we have in a really long time. That could only be God because on paper we had dreams crumble and no real income.
It didn’t make sense for CityWell, as a Micro-church, to support our family so I started a handyman business. September was slow (I drove Uber any day I didn’t have work to make ends meet) but have had a full schedule since.
Stef agreed to cover someone’s maternity leave at Good Samaritan Services (where she worked last year) but that’s turned into a more long-term role with ever expanding responsibilities. She loves it, but we are still working to find a good work/homeschool/ministry/life balance.
We have also come across others who are re-thinking church and have worked to move into relationship with them to learn, grow, and encourage one another.
I have been growing in my realization of how far I am from living out John 17:21-23. Pride always makes me think, “How we do it is the best.” But God is at work in mega-churches, community churches, and micro-churches! And each has its own benefits and struggles.
This fall sickness hit our home hard. Usually on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings…that makes meeting in our home tricky. We also got Covid but I ended up with bacterial pneumonia at the same time. Today everyone is healthy, but please PRAY FOR HEALTH IN OUR HOME!
Wrapping up and prayer points
In August I stood before God with my hands open, today we are still working to be in that place. I naturally want a plan and strategy, and keep mentally developing them but want Christ glorified more than anything.
Join us in praying for:
-Wisdom for CityWell’s missional purpose in this season
-Wisdom to know when to prayerfully strategize and when to be more spontaneously Spirit-lead.
-Wisdom with partnerships and potential future micro-churches
for Stef and I to find balance as a bi-vocational family.
Thanks for sticking with my really long e-mail. I’m so thankful for everyone who prays for us! God is at work!
(This was originally written to be an update e-mail for those who support CityWell through prayer. Want to receive e-mail’s like this? Let us know here: https://citywell.church/LetsConnect)
Have you ever wondered what family Bible study time looks like in a pastor’s home? Maybe you imagine the kids sitting perfectly and listening…that’s not the real world. In the real world kids…are kids, even Read more…