When we first moved to Charlotte nine years ago, LD and I knew we needed to find a church asap. With no family in the area we needed Charlotte parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers....people to do life with. And we did!
We found Next Level Church just a few short months after moving here and we did a lot of life with the people we got to know - holidays, birthdays, dinners, baby showers, meals delivered after babies, and just every day life. When we started at Next Level there were about 100 people, we were meeting in a gym and setting up and tearing down on Sundays. They needed us and we needed them. It was a great fit. Some of our very best friends we will ever have in this life time came from being a part of that church.
We were able to watch Next Level grow and move from a gymnasium to two services and its own building. We were able to watch friends learn about who Jesus was and how much he loved them, watch friends be baptized, watch friends learn what it means to follow Christ in everyday life and then teach others.
During our nine years there I was given the opportunity to serve on staff for five years, carrying out my passion of teaching others how to serve as the body of Christ. We did home makeovers, food drives, after school tutoring, shoe distributions, and lots of loving on neighbors. I LOVED being a part of something so much bigger than me, being one small part of God's love for Charlotte. I was able to use my social work skills, do ministry, and still be at home to raise my babies. Then a year or so ago LD was able to serve on the board at the church, using the leadership skills God has given him. It has been a place where we grew in grace and were able to use our gifts.
Over the last year God has crossed some crazy and amazing relationships in our lives. He has made it incredibly evident that we are being called to a new chapter. It is so bittersweet to leave our first church as a married couple and where all three of my babies were dedicated and loved from birth. But I also know that He will bless our obedience to this new calling, to be a part of Mission Community Church as they get ready to launch this fall.
So for those of you at Next Level Church - we have LOVED spending our life with you and look forward to still sharing in friendship together. We will miss you incredibly as we embark on this new journey and will continually pray for you, your families and the leadership of Next Level who we hold so dear to our hearts.
Please pray for the leadership and launch team of Mission Community Church as they seek God in planting this new church. And please pray that lives are changed through God's amazing grace through this new ministry.