God is doing a great work in Seattle. The fastest growing city in America also ranks in the top ten for unchurched and dechurched people as well. The gospel is spreading in the Pacific Northwest in new and creative ways.
I have been serving as pastor of Grace Community Church and Saturate The Sound for almost five years and am energized by the spiritual vitality that is growing. Jesus prayed for the unity of His followers so the world would know Him (John 17:20-26). There are close to 100 churches and ministries now in collaboration to bring the good news to the region. We have ten cohorts who are on mission together to see a discipleship movement. Christians are breaking out of a compartmentalized faith and moving from Sunday to everyday, including where we live, work, learn and play.
For Easter, dozens of churches participated in an initiative that included equipping people to share their stories on social media. Using the hashtag #Jesuschangedmylife, followers of Jesus made short videos and posted their testimonies for everyone to watch. This was a stretch that led to a fresh reliance on the Lord, including prayers for boldness (Acts 4:29) and fruitful conversations (Colossians 4:2-6). Digital missionaries and ambassadors are rising up during this unprecedented time when church buildings are being closed. The body of Christ is alive and making some strategic pivots to make the most of the opportunity (Ephesians 5:13-18).
During the current crisis, churches are reaching more people than ever before through streaming services that simply go to where people are: on their phones and in their homes. There is a growing curiosity about God, hope, and a healthy spiritual life. It reminds me that God’s word is never chained (2 Timothy 2:8-9). God shines His light and often does His greatest work in the darkest times. We are praying for an awakening in Seattle.
It was also very encouraging to connect with DTS grads across the country who ran with the initiative in their cities and spread it across their networks. This outreach continues now in so many churches as it is not just for Easter. At Grace, we include the stories in our weekend services and more people are posting their stories each week. We want to keep going until everyone in our church shares their journey. Let’s continue to abide with Jesus, unite together, faithfully share our stories freely and trust God with the results. In the massive changes and disruptions, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and the gospel is the greatest need people have (Romans 1:16).