“Start a church in Greensburg?”
That one thought stuck inside my brain. Two different conversations just days apart with two different friends encouraging me to move forward and plant a church in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
That was the beginning of the journey back in 2018 when I began praying about this idea. An idea I shared with my friend and fellow Pastor, Kevin Giddings. We both felt a spark of excitement. But as pastors at a large multi-campus church, we had a lot going on and a desire to continue serving our church and community. So we committed to keep praying about Greensburg and wait for God’s timing.
Then in 2020, I felt a strong push to move forward with the Greensburg church, even though it seemed impossible in the midst of a pandemic. But I sensed God impressing upon me that this was the best time because people needed hope. And isn’t it during the worst times that God does his most incredible work?
Soon after, I touched base with Kevin, and we both agreed it was time.
The vision God gave us for the new church is straight from the Bible.
The church is not a building—but a people. When we launch the church in Greensburg, we will gather each week to scatter throughout the city to love and serve the city. As we do this, we will also be made up of small groups of people in neighborhoods who will share and show the transforming power of the gospel to one another and our neighbors.
Both Kevin and I, and our families, felt strongly that God was in the middle of this undertaking. However, it wasn’t until a double date with our wives at the end of June 2020 that we truly saw how God was already at work and wanted us to be at the center of it.
As we sat down to eat at a restaurant in Greensburg, the waitress began taking our order. We sensed that things were not going so well for her that day, and I began talking to her. She opened up to us about her recent struggles, and we were able to reach out to her and share how much Jesus loves her and sees her pain. I shared with her our vision of caring for the people of Greensburg through the love of Jesus. She felt so accepted and cared for that night; she was eager to learn more about the new church and us. People in a church who would meet her where she is in life and point her to the hope she can have in Jesus.
It was as if God came down and personally cared for her through us.
It was astonishing to see it! After that conversation, there was no doubt for any of us that God was already preparing the city for this new church. A church that would engage with those who felt God was no longer relevant. A church that would reach out and share the love of God through Jesus. A church that would meet hurting people where they were and give them hope in a seemingly hopeless world. A church that would share and show the transforming power of the gospel and plant churches that multiply.
The endeavor we are currently embarking on—the establishment of 4TheCity Church—might seem daunting, but it is our passion. It is our joy to love and give our lives 4TheCity of Greensburg!