This past weekend I was in Iowa connecting with a new church plant in Ottumwa called, The Bridge.
Yes, Iowa. When I was going through security at the airport the officer looked at my boarding pass and said “Iowa?” rolled his eyes and sarcastically muttered “you’ll be having a really good time there”.
He couldn’t have been more right. With each step of the journey I felt the call of God on my life. I wasn’t sure for what, but I’m convinced now a big part of it was simply to be blessed.
From a distance, online, I’ve had the privilege of following Marty Schmidt’s journey as a church planter for quite a while now. It has been amazing to see how this community of faith has launched from a dream and a prayer, to a reality. To step into something new that God has just birthed has been an awe-inspiring blessing in itself.
The Bridge resonates deeply with my hopes for the future church. Their community is vibrant, their worship is rockin’, they’re connecting people to Jesus, and they’re just getting started.
I’ve had the opportunity to speak in many different venues, but this was one of those ‘ministry’ experiences where I was receiving so much more than I was giving. Spending time with Marty and Jenny was just extraordinary. I was wiped tired most of the weekend, but the kindness and wonder of their family fuelled the way for me.
All I had to do was speak for thirty minutes. From them I learned more than I expected about the Midwest (only about half of the stereotypes are true). I learned about some of the real challenges in church planting. I learned about the centrality of prayer.
Most of all I was reminded and encouraged of how we worship one God and He is doing great things all over the world, even in the middle of Iowa.
The Bridge has made a mark on my life and they will continue to be in my prayers. Do stop by if you’re passing through the state!