This past weekend, CedarCreek celebrated its 25-year anniversary. Do you realize just how long 25 years is? That’s long enough for a child to be born; grow into an adult; get a bachelor’s degree; spend a year or two wondering what she’s doing with her life and if God has a plan for her; apply for an internship she’s not even sure she wants at the church where she grew up; get accepted; realize she loves the work she’s doing there; and eventually, get hired. And that’s my story.
You could say CedarCreek has played a huge role in my life, and I’m proud to call it home, especially because of the key themes that have been part of CedarCreek’s story throughout its 25 years.
Here at CedarCreek, we believe the local church is the hope of the world.
People don’t change because of laws, facts, convincing arguments or interesting information. Do you know what consistently changes lives? God’s love as seen through the kindness of other people.
Big changes require a lot of small, individual changes. If you want to transform the world, you have to start at home, then in your own community, one person at a time. That’s what the local church—all local churches—are for. They are part of a life-giving movement, bringing about God’s redemption one individual story at a time, all across the world.
So how do people reach other people?
Here at CedarCreek, we have a rebellious spirit that demands “real.”
If you want to see your life change and help others do the same, you’ll need to start by taking off your mask and showing the world the real you. God’s light doesn’t shine through “perfect people”—it’s best seen through people who will honestly admit: “This is who I was before Jesus. These are the things I’ve done, the people I’ve hurt, and what’s been done to me. I was just like you—but listen to what Jesus did for me and is now doing through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Recognizing your need for Jesus Christ is just the first step—a huge, significant, life-changing step, but God has so much more in store for you!
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Here at CedarCreek, we passionately invite people to take next steps on their spiritual journey.
God wants us to know him personally, finding true freedom and healing through his love. He wants to redeem us from the attitudes and actions that hurt others. He wants us to discover how he designed us for a life of purpose and meaning as we serve the cause of Christ. And he wants us to share his love with others. Now that’s a life worth living.
Some people think the Christian life is boring, but when I hear all of that, I get so excited. It sounds like an adventure!
Here at CedarCreek, we will call you to boldly lay down your life for a greater adventure.
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Thank you, CedarCreek, for helping me to know God, find freedom, discover my purpose, and make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you for the role you played in making me the person I am today and for the way you’re shaping my future. May I, in turn, do all I can to help provide the same for others.
Over the next four days, we’ll examine other key themes from our church’s story. If you’re new to CedarCreek and want to know what we’re all about, you picked a great week to be reading the LivingItOut. Even if you’ve been part of CedarCreek for years, I highly encourage you to read it every day this week—it’s good to be reminded exactly why we do things the way we do as a church.
Do you agree with the values mentioned here? Which do you agree with most? Which is most important to you? Why? How can you live out that value in your daily life?
If you agree with these values, live like it. Get connected with and advocate for your local church. Be courageously real, and be a safe person for others to be real around. Look for your next step, and help those around you to do the same. Be willing to set down your preferences and comforts in favor of the more satisfying adventure Jesus invites us into!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the local church—for CedarCreek, and for all local, life-giving churches. Thank you for the way they’re introducing people to you and changing lives like mine. Thank you that, because of you, we don’t have to wear masks or pretend to be okay. Thank you for the satisfying adventure you invite us into! Help us to be authentic, to take next steps and to help others do the same, and to boldly lay down our lives for you. May your will be done in us and through us. Amen.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
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