Our newest baby turned one on Sunday

Not this one, he’s three:


Not this one, either – he’ll be two on Monday:


This one:


Honestly, when you think about it, planting a church is a whole like having a baby.

You plan and prepare and the spend about 9 months really getting ready as it grows, quietly. You sweat, and bleed, and shed tears, and then suddenly, your baby church makes its grand appearance into the world. It’s smaller than you thought it would be, but you love it so much you think your heart might explode.

Then you go home. It’s more work than you expected; the baby church is helpless, and you have to do everything for it. You don’t think you’ll survive the first week, but then you do. And then you make it through another week, and another one after that, and you start to find your stride.

Things are constantly changing as the baby church grows, but you adjust to each new season. And then, before you know it, the big one year birthday is here. Things that seemed impossible a year ago are happening, and you cannot believe it’s been twelve months, but you are so excited, and proud, and still so full of love.

That’s what it felt like for me anyway, and I was so thrilled and honored to be able to celebrate our one year anniversary as a church plant on Sunday. We served doughnuts and coffee, handed out balloons, and had a baptism in the parking lot.

We have an amazing church, and I don’t mean the building where we meet (although that’s pretty cool, too). No, our church is amazing because it’s full of wonderful people I didn’t know a year ago.

People who are generous when someone walks through our doors with a need. People who worship God with abandon in front of their children so the next generation will know what it means to follow Jesus. People who support and encourage us as we shepherd them, from praying for us, to remembering our birthdays, to loaning us a spare window unit when air conditioner breaks down.

When I say Jason and I feel blessed and privileged to be pastors, I’m not just saying it. I love Life360 Ozark as much as if it was my third child. And in a lot of ways, it is.

Happy birthday, baby church. I’m so glad you’re mine!


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