On October 31, 1999, Pam and I, our family and six other families launched Destiny Church. We started this church to reach un-churched people with the gospel of Christ and turn them into disciples. When we came up with this idea, we had no money, no place to meet, and no idea if this thing would even succeed, but we believed we had a vision from God to plant this church.
More than two decades later, we’ve done much more than survive. While we have had many trials over the years, we’ve also had many miracles and kingdom wins! We’ve witnessed hundreds of people give their lives to Jesus over this time. We have hundreds of baptism videos! We have young people who are serving in ministries who were little children when their parents first brought them to Destiny! Many of our church and ministry leaders grew up in this church family. It has been a great twenty-one years!
But let me hasten to say that we have just begun. I truly believe that our best days of ministry are in front of us!
Before we started Destiny, I prayed that God would give me twenty years to serve this church. I once had a professor tell me that it takes twenty years to build something great, so I wanted to commit to that timeframe. I’ve since learned a couple other things. First, God is the one who has built this church. We’ve only been stewards. The second thing that I have learned is the most powerful understanding of all. I’ve learned that we need to be married to the mission but not the model. Let me explain.
When we started Destiny, I was launched into this by simply reading the book, The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. Rick showed an incredible model of church that, if led correctly, would reach un-churched people. We learned that we could do church in a way that lost people would attend and come to Jesus Christ. Many of you came to Jesus because of that approach to church. I am still overwhelmed by the many stories of people who gave their lives to Christ through our ministry. But over the last several years, we’ve seen that model begin to wane. Our mission never changed, but our model was not working as it once did. For more than two years, I have been perplexed by this, and I knew God was trying to show us something new. Then a year ago, the world was hit by COVID-19, and in a matter of weeks, almost every church in the US had to shut their doors. I knew at that time that God was going to make some changes in His church, and in our church.
My friends, you and I are living in an amazing time for the church. You get to witness something that is only just beginning, but I believe it will radically and wonderfully change the church in our country. Look around. It feels like our world is falling apart. We are deluged with political nightmares, racial strife, a pandemic that has been ruthless and disruptive, a culture that seems to be totally lost…it would be easy to fall into fear and hopelessness with all that is happening. But this is the perfect time for the church to BE the hope of the world! Church is not a service on Sunday. It is the gift that God placed on the earth to bring light to the darkness. This is truly our time. And you and I get to participate with God in this mission.
During 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, there were some of us who were praying constantly for Destiny Church. We were asking God to lead us, to re-direct us. We’ve known the model that we started with is not working today, and we prayed for God to lead us to what is next. In just a short amount of time, God has given us the next step of His plan for Destiny.
Through prayer, conversations and events, two major decisions have been reached. First, Destiny Church is going to be joined with another church, City Hills Church of Dulles, VA! We have already been meeting together since Christmas Eve, and it has been wonderful to meet new friends who will be part of our church.
Second, I am handing the role of Lead Pastor of Destiny over to my dear friend, Jeffrey Goodman, and I will be assuming a new role as Lead Elder of Destiny Church. The short version of this is really all about vision. There is a ministry agenda that I believe God has given to me that I must pursue, and making this change will give me the time necessary to undertake that ministry. At the same time, as I have been able to spend valuable time with Jeffrey, I’ve learned that he has an incredible ministry and passion for the local church. His prophetic gifting and his heart for God’s kingdom is amazing, and I truly believe that Jeffrey is going to be an incredible leader for Destiny Church.
To explain all of this in a letter would be way too lengthy, so I highly encourage you to watch today’s church service for the best explanation of all that this means for our church. You can find the video today on Facebook and YouTube, or it will be available on our website by Tuesday.
Pam and I have been so honored to be part of Destiny and part of your lives. The good news is that we are not going anywhere. Destiny is our church, and we plan to serve this church for many years to come.
We love you dearly,