Five Years Ago Today
On September 6, 2009, Littleton Christian Church had our first Sunday worship service in the Main Street Centre in downtown Littleton.
I'd like to share the story of how God brought us to Main Street. Our former location (215 County Line) was nice. It had plenty of parking, a more functional setup for a church like ours, and even a small playground. It was, however, very expensive. Between 2006 and the beginning of 2009 the church went through major upheaval - many people who discerned the voice of the Lord kept saying "God says he's going to 'shake everything that can be shaken.'" They were right on the money! By the end of it, what was a community of nearly 200 people was down to 30-50 shell-shocked adults and their kids. We could no longer afford our setup. But we were convinced that God still had a good plan for this community.
I'll never forget standing in the front yard of my small home in Englewood when Kay Wilmesher, an employee with the City of Littleton called me. I don't think she had ever called me before, but the church had been actively obeying what we believed was a divine call to serve the city of Littleton, so I was happy to take her call.
"Hello Kay," I said. "What can I do for you?" She replied happily: "I found you a space!" She went to to explain to me that she heard we were struggling to pay rent and she wanted to see our community continue, so she took it on herself to call every church, school, and building that might have capacity for a church like ours. I had no idea she was doing this. She told me about the Main Street Centre, and I got in my car and drove there. From the outside, I couldn't understand how this building could host a church, but I was desperate, so I ventured inside.
Over the next couple weeks, I invited the church to join me on several prayer walks around downtown Litleton. As various people walked and prayed, their minds were drawn toward two Old Testament stories that they applied to our congregation. The first was the days after Noah's flood, when God showed his people a rainbow as a promise that he wouldn't destroy the earth again. The second was the way God guided his people through the wilderness in the Sinai (Exodus), leading them with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. These were encouraging ideas. I could never have been prepared for what came next.
On our final prayer walk, there were a few of us, and I had the pleasure of walking with one of our elders, Bethany Forberg. She and I processed these stories people had mentioned and wondered what God was trying to say to us. As we came back to her car in the parking lot, it began to rain, though the sun was shining under the clouds as it set in the West. Bending directly over Main Street was a full, bright rainbow. I ran to my car to grab my laptop, which was the only way I could think to capture the image of what we saw. I filmed as I ran back to Bethany's car. The rain stopped, and suddenly we were confronted by a configuration of clouds that I have never seen before or since. In the orange and purple of a Colorado sunset, the clouds to the east seemed to stack up upon each other. Before our very eyes, a pillar of cloud, illuminated by the sun to look just like fire, stretched from the horizon all the way to the heavens.
I needed no further confirmation. We were being invited by the city to this place, and God was using the rain, sun and clouds to emphasize his leading. Because we wanted to be clear in our mission, we changed our name to Littleton Christian Church, and on September 6, 2009, we celebrated our first Sunday of worship in this building. What a fine season it has been. Praise God with me.
I don't know what's coming next. I suspect our time in this particular site is limited, both by the facility needs of our growing body and by the eventual sale of the building, along with a few other stirrings in Littleton. But I will never cease to thank God for his gracious provision of this space and all that it has allowed us to do for the City, for the unity of the church, and for the glory of the Name of Jesus. By his Grace, our journey, and our work in Littleton, has just begun. Soli Deo Gloria.