Knocked down but not knocked out
The Apostle Paul once wrote these words to the Corinthian Christians:
“But we have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.” (2 Corinthians 4: 7-9, Common English Bible)
It is a magnificent call to courage and endurance, one that suits us well in all of life and especially in a wearying season such as that from which we are, FINALLY, starting to emerge. Knocked down…but not knocked out.
It is also a magnificent credo for church planters such as our own Pastors Megan and Larry and our daughter congregation in Port Orchard.
From the beginning, it seems, Chapel Hill Port Orchard was taking body blows. Our planned launch on Easter 2020…well, that got scuppered, didn’t it? Thanks, COVID. And along with it, the well-laid plans for a venue.
First, they were scheduled to meet in the local high school, a real gift from the administration because no church had been allowed to gather in South Kitsap High School regularly. Of course, the pandemic shut down that school…and any church that planned on meeting inside of it!
So, they began meeting as guests in a host Port Orchard church which worked great…until the denomination that owned the building jumped into church-planting, too.
THEN, a patron purchased a home in Port Orchard and offered it to our daughter church as a meeting place. It was going swimmingly! Two services on Sunday mornings, plans on removing a wall to make more space. Until city officials informed us that the Kitsap House was not coded for “assembly.”
THEN, we moved in with one of our local mission partners, Coffee Oasis, which worked okay…but was too small for our burgeoning Sunday morning attendance.
THEN…a member of the Port Orchard Yacht Club presented to their board the prospect of meeting THERE for a season. The board was open to the idea…but it required a vote of the entire membership. “Surely,” one might think, “surely there would be SOME opposition to the idea of giving up their club house every Sunday morning through Easter. Surely.”
Yet, Pastor Megan called breathlessly with news that could not wait: the Yacht Club membership voted UNANIMOUSLY to allow our daughter church to meet there through Easter. Unanimously! Wow! AND…a new, more permanent possibility has opened up, which we are exploring. Stay tuned!
Turns out, ya gotta be tough to be church planters! And Pastors Megan and Larry and their team are nothing if not tough. Knocked down…but not knocked out! Of course, the reason they can take those body blows and keep getting back up is because they have a God who gives them strength, a vision that cannot be crushed and a passion that cannot be quenched.
Together, all of us, we believed that God was calling us to plant a daughter church in Port Orchard, the first fruit of our Beyond These Walls initiative. Of course the enemy wants to discourage us. To knock us down. But it’s the Devil who must be getting discouraged every time he throws a haymaker…only to see us climbing back up onto our feet. He must be exhausted!
But we have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out!
Chapel Hill Gig Harbor
Photo by Jose Aljovin