When God Closes A Door . . .

So back to this cool church story. By the way, it’s fun to tell a cool church story because for far too many believers they have encountered far more un-cool church stories than cool ones. Anyway, Michael Howard from Santa Cruz Foursquare church was pretty sure God had given him a very clear direction for his next steps in ministry. He didn’t tell any of us pastor buddies exactly what it was that God had told him, but he knew. Meanwhile, Danny Bennett’s skate ministry was in serious trouble

You see, Danny grew up as a gutter-punk grom who surfed and skated around before he met Jesus and Jesus went on to change his life. Thus Danny came to Santa Cruz with a vision to reach groms living like he once did. That’s why Santa Cruz Hope set up a “skate church” in partnership with Grind Out Hunger, a local non-profit that combined skating with stamping out hunger in our community. Grind Out Hunger kindly let Hope use their space with all their indoor ramps on 41st Ave. and the partnership was a great collaboration for a number of years. Suddenly everything changed. Grind Out Hunger came to the hard conclusion that it was going to have to shut its doors and they informed skate church that it was going to have to find a new home for skate ministry. Danny shared this serious challenge with his pastor friends and we all prayed. As I prayed, I personally felt a strong sense from the Holy Spirit that what Michael Howard had shared with us a few weeks earlier somehow was a part of God’s solution for Danny’s ministry. I also felt that I needed to share this with Danny. So, even though it really wasn’t my place to say anything, I trusted that God’s Spirit really was prompting me to say something. So I sheepishly called Danny and told him I thought God wanted him to reach out to Michael. Danny surprised me because he said, “It’s weird, but I’ve been thinking the same thing, but I don’t know what to do with this possible leading from God. How do I approach this with a pastor-brother without coming right out and lamely asking Michael if we can use his building? I do not want to dis-respect the good work Michael is doing.” I loved that Danny did not want to, in any way, disrespect a fellow pastor and wanted to honor him. So as Danny and I chatted on the phone about this important question we decided together that instead of asking Michael about the availability of his church building, the best thing to do was simply ask Michael straight up, “What did God tell you about your next steps in ministry?” and just listen to see if his answer was part of God’s solution for skate church. Danny asked me to pray because he knew God was prompting him to talk with Michael, but he was really nervous because he didn’t want to push, and didn’t want things to be weird afterward. I prayed, and Danny set up a time to talk with Michael . . .

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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