One exciting aspect of the way that we’re starting Iron City Church is that I have nearly a month between our services this summer.Â Its given me a chance to do a lot of recon (visiting other churches in the area and elsewhere), but its also giving me a chance to preach in a variety of churches.Â In the next month I’ll be preaching here, here, and here – not to mention our next monthly service, which is July 15.Â I love getting the opportunity to preach and its fun to see how many different types of churches there are in this area.Â I’m looking forward to all these other places, but I can’t wait until July 15 to be with the ICC tribe that is beginning to come together….
Over the last two weeks with the mission teams that have come to help us out, we have intentionally prayed over the homes, recreation areas, and businesses of our target area for over 8 hours, washed 75 cars free of charge in Jesus’ name, distributed thousands of door hangers, given away over 1,500 free granola bars and a few hundred cold bottles of water, and made relational connections with dozens of families in the North Hills of Pittsburgh who don’t have a church home.
We have encountered some resistance, but God is faithful and has used that resistance to make us even more focused and determined that He is doing something amazing here.Â Thank you God that you are bigger than any seemingly closed doors that come our way.Â Thank you that YOU are starting this iteration of YOUR church and the gates of hell will not overcome it.Â Continue to give us the drive and courage to crash against those gates to rescue men, women, and young people from a Christ-less life now and for eternity.
And thank you most of all for the countless lives, families, and communities that you will transformÂ forÂ YourÂ Glory and Your KingdomÂ just because we’re willing to be faithful to do that which you have called us to do.
My blogging has been just about non-existent these last couple of weeks.Â We’ve had over 60 volunteers come through the North Hills to be a part of the Iron City experience and bless us since June 16.Â This week was especially busy.
There were nearly 200 teenage students in Pittsburgh this week with a program called PowerPlant.Â Â The idea is thatÂ all these studentsÂ converge on a city (this year there areÂ 10 different cities) and spend a week helping out various church plants in the city.Â Its designed to serve as a boost of help and an encouragement to theÂ church planters andÂ exposeÂ all the participants toÂ what church planting is all about.
I had two groups with me this week (about 20Â in all)Â – one fromÂ Athens, TN and one fromÂ Easton, MD – and both were great.Â Â I called them my “delta force”.Â Â A lot of our original plans were shut down soÂ they got to do a lot of the special forces work of church planting (prayer-walking and prayer-driving).Â All inÂ all, we did about 6 hours worth of praying over our target area in the last 5 days.
OnÂ Tuesday we held two simultaneous FREE car washes and were able to serve 44 familiesÂ over the course of a few hoursÂ by washing their car (no charge, no donations accepted) in Jesus’ name.Â ThenÂ Thursday we held a communityÂ block party.Â In spite of pretty nasty, wet weather, we were able to connect with 16 new families.
All in all it was a really good week.Â Â Â When added to the normal ebb and flow of a week it was pretty draining, but totally worth it.Â These groups have helped ICC out more than we may everÂ fully realize and I believe God will use this week to spark a passion for starting new churches in the hearts of these young people and their group leaders.