It’s bittersweet to be havingÂ our last Sunday at OLHS tomorrow. 7 years ago I walked in for the first time as a full time staff member (although, I was there for the very first service and it rocked). It was heart-warming to see the level of love, transparency, and grace. And now 7 years later, we bid farewell to a place where people have been baptized, cried, laughed, found healing, seen marriages restored, loved for the first time, and more. I know it’s only brick and mortar, but when family moves from one location to the next, it kind of hits you.
In the 16+ years of Forefront’s journey to date, over 1,200 have met Jesus and been baptized. That alone makes this whole journey worth it. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. From leaving shoes during service, filling 18 wheelers for disaster relief, driving 4,000 pairs of shoes & supplies to be shipped to Haiti, homeless banquets, having church in an open bar, installing clean water for 600+ families in Vietnam, watching as people are freed from the bondage of financial debt… it’s been amazing to witness.
And it’s only the beginning.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’reÂ directly or indirectly a part of Forefront’s story. Whether it was your presence, service, an email, phone call, sacrifice – you are Forefront.
God’s church isn’t a place we meet, it’s who we are collectively. A group of people helping people, find & follow Jesus. We all make mistakes, but we don’t let those mistakes define us. God loves us in the very midst of those mistakes, but loves us enough to not let us stay that way. He made us for more.
Here I find myself tearing up, over what seems to be nothing more than a building, but it’s more than that. It’s the memories. The people who walked the halls of a high school transformed into a place of worship. Getting out of their cars wondering if this was the last chance they’d ever give God? Would Jesus really love somebody like me? Will these people love me if they know my past and my present? And, like the sun rises and sets, God dispels the thoughts and confirms one thing:
Church is a group of messed up people with hope in Jesus, trying to share that hope with other messed up people just like them.
There’s no magic formula.
No bait & switch.
No political rants.
No membership fee.
No dress code.
No guilt slinging.
And, absolutely no making out in the back row.Â
Forefront, I love you, our past, our present, and our even brighter future.
Join me in bringing our friends & family out to our best chapter yet.
Sunday, September 7th at our newly renovated home, 9:15 or 11 at
2520 Holland Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23453.