You will never know unless you go
In April of 2000 I resigned from my engineering job in Minneapolis. Our family loved living in the Twin Cities. We were near family for the first time in our married life, had a great church home, good friends and good jobs. We were comfortable. But in 1993, we accepted a mission God placed on our heart: to help one more person find hope and life in Jesus Christ based on 1 Corinthians 9:23. So, we were moving to Fargo-Moorhead to start a new church for people who don’t like going to church.
Our company’s office housed 60 employees, so the news spread quickly that “Jon was quitting his job and moving to Fargo to start a new church.” Gary, a structural designer from another department, burst into my office and sat down.
“Jon, I hear you are starting a church in Fargo. I didn’t know you could sing.”
I looked at him puzzled and said, “What do you mean? I don’t sing!”
“Oh, don’t you have to sing the homily?”
“No, no Gary, I don’t.”
“Well, are you buying a building or building a new one?”
“Gary, there is no building. We are going to focus on people not a building.”
Now, Gary is puzzled. “Oh, so there are people? How many people are a part of this new church?”
“Gary, right now there aren’t any people.”
He looks at me like there is an ear growing out of my forehead … he is totally confused, poor guy. There is silence in the room and then I said, “I tell you what Gary, someday I’m going to come back to your office and I will share with you stories of people that God brings into this church … it will be fun … I will have hundreds of stories to tell you in a few years.”
Several years later, I went back to Minneapolis and walked into Gary’s office and shared with him unique miracle stories of people now an active part of Prairie Heights.
When we moved to Fargo the church consisted of three people: me, my wife, and our 4-year-old son. We were a simple church; one of us would preach, one would lead singing, and the other person would receive the offering. The next week we would rotate.
On Sunday mornings, we would visit churches around Fargo-Moorhead and our son would cry as we drove up to the building saying, “This isn’t my church. I want to go to my church.” This broke my heart. But God gave me a promise: “Jon, someday your son will love this new church just as much. You have to be patient and trust me. I will build my church. Your job is to be obedient.”
Well, God has built his church, one life, one family, at a time. On Easter Sunday 2019 there were 4,520 people at Prairie Heights. The life principle is “You will never know unless you go.” You will never know how God wants to impact our world through you until you dive full force into the mission God has given you. When we only give God partial obedience, keeping control to limit the risk, God is limited in his ability to work in and through us. Where do you need to trust God like never before?
Hauser is the founding and senior pastor at Prairie Heights Community Church in Fargo-Moorhead and can be reached at www.jonhauser.com