The start of a new work, America and the move of God.

18 years, four Countries and five children (with another on the way) later we have the opportunity to launch another new Church in our home region. Wow... surreal, exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. After being in Asian for over 15 years, giving birth to 4 of our 5 children in foreign countries, being more yellow on the inside than white on the outside, it is hard to envision what life will be like in America. 

One African Minister, about a year ago, was trying to convince me that America did not need or deserve another Church. His suggestion was that I should choose another Asian or African city to plant my family and a new work. However, we sensed the leading of the Lord to come back to the USA and see what God could do. 

We are happy we did because to our surprise America is in desperate need for authentic, simple Christianity and churches who make space for God. After being here for the past 8 months it is so evident that America is once again in dire straits for a move of God. One young man, who aspires to be a minister, recently walked into my office and said "revival is coming". My response was simple "we have revival in Church every week". I was not exaggerating or just putting faith talk into action. We are literally seeing people weeping, repenting, marriages being restored, and coming to the altars week after week with God touching their lives. Others have said "I could just stay here (in church) all day".

Revival and the move of God is not something we are waiting for but rather something that we make space for. If we would make space for God to move in our families, Churches, small groups, counseling sessions and the like then He would be more than happy to do so. I cannot imagine *doing* life or church without making space for God to move.

I can now begin to see in my heart how America needs genuine, authentic Christian communities hungry for God and structured in a way that would allow Him to do as He pleased. We have once again structured God out of much we do in His Name. Our Nation is facing some of the greatest challenges ever with our drug problem and over doses, crime rates, political turmoil and the like... yet it seems like every website I look at is taking about coffee and their one hour experience as if this will fix our Nation's problems.

I heard from one Minister recently returning from Africa that he witnessed what he called (paraphrased) "maybe the greatest move of God on the planet". The church would arrive at 7am, take lunch around 3pm and then continue on. Of course we Americans justify this radical commitment to being in the house of God by saying; they are traveling further or have needs that are greater or some other explanation to ease of our conscience. It is strange to me though, that in Africa or China or elsewhere, this type of elongated God encounters are awesome, in that Country, but here in America it would be hard to fill a small auditorium, on a regular basis, if we held hours long services every week. Why, because people will only come and stay long only to meet with God. Outside of a God encounter it is another entertaining event and there are way too many options and too many entertaining outlets that we have to get too in a day. Going to church is just one item on our list of things we MUST do today. And there lies one of the problems. Ask the average American if they are a Christian and their response will be "I go to such and such church". Still the majority of our Nation goes to church somewhere sometime, but are they encountering God in their time in Church. 

Yes, America needs, like all the Nations around the world, another move of God to break forth freely in our well organized Churches. But this also is nothing new. I remember a story of a minister back in the earlier 1900s who Pastored what he called "the popular Church" in LA, California. He relunctantly attended a revival service of a well known revivalist of the time. At the meeting, on the platform, he recalls encountering the presence of God and coming to the startling conclusion that he did not even know Jesus anymore. He goes on the share how he became so wrapped up in his "popular church" that he either lost or never had a relationship with Christ. Yes, America needs God to continue to have his way.

A new work is an opportunity to create space for God. It is hard to change what you start feeding people on. It is like my dog's eating habits. We began feeding our dog some type of dog food years ago and if/when we try to feed her anything else but what she is use to she just rejects it almost to the point of starving. My kids start getting all concerned because Lulu will not eat for what seems like days. I really have no idea how our dog can go so long without eating. This is not much different from the people we are ministering too. If we do not start right, lead people to the waters, feed them on a whole Bible diet (including the parts we do not understand, like or have not experienced ourselves), making space for a move of God, get involved in people's lives and build genuine Christian community, then our people too may starve themselves like my dog when God shows up and the food that they are use to is different. 1 Timothy 1:19 teaches us on shipwrecked faith. Yes, it can happen and has happened to more Godly people than you or I. 

To be continued...

Grand Opening August 19, 2018

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for making our Grand Opening a great success

The facility looked great with the hard work and much effort of many volunteers, thank you!!!

The atmosphere in the house was charged with the presence and love of God. A few people said to me "I could just stay here all day". Another person said "I have gone to church for years but have never felt the presence of God like I have here". These are both amazing testimonies to God's goodness.

"Our main goal is to make space for God to have His way in all we do!"

Pastor Anna Donahue brought an anointed word and powerful altar ministry time. We are grateful to have friends like Anna.  

Many old and new friends joined us in this celebration and now we are excited to get many of these folks planted into this family of God. 

Week 2 is soon upon us... so let us not stop with telling someone, inviting someone, and bringing someone next week to Church believing Jesus to touch and change their life.

Christina and I would like to visit with you, hear your story, and become a part of your journey. We will be reaching out but ask that you not be shy to do the same. Our personal emails are listed below.  

CHECK OUT THE GRAND OPENING VIDEO INTRODUCTION. https://vimeo.com/286096327

For such a time as this,

James & Christina Weidner
Pastors, R.E.A.C.H. Community
JamesWeidner@me.com
ChristinaWeidner@me.com

Address: 19219 North 4th. Street, Covington, LA, 70433
Office #: 985.327.3070

www.REACHcommunity.net
www.Give.REACHcommunity.net
www.facebook.com/reachchurch.northshore/

REACH Community's Grand Opening with Special Guest Anna Donahue

REACH Slide.jpg

The past four months have been precious ones since REACH Community's Sunday Gathering was launched. The promise of the Lord's presence when two or more are gathered in HIS Name has been fulfilled faithfully again and again.

As we prepare to move into our new facility the days have been full of painting, hauling lumber, moving boxes and there are more good times to be had. Excitement and expectation are in the air... along with the smell of fresh paint. This Saturday a team of volunteers from the REACH Community will be meeting at the facility for building and cleaning projects to prepare for our Grand Opening. 

August 19th we will welcome any and all from the Northshore and Greater New Orleans Community for the Grand Opening of our new facility as we launch into this new season. On August 19th we are planning a 930am reception and dedication followed by our 10am Main Gathering. It will be a special time with our friend and guest speaker Anna Donahue joining us along with greeting videos from other friends.

It's about much more than the four walls of a building. It's a launching point for the mission of REACH Community to grow, bringing hope and light to the people of the Northshore, Greater New Orleans, Louisiana, and the World.  

Coming Soon after the Church's Grand Opening we will be launching the REACH Learning Community on Fridays from 9am onwards. This is an intentional time that will include morning chapel and character building, music and theory training, project based learning, peer discussions, and youth connect group.

This Fall EQUIP ministry school will be launching on Wednesday nights beginning with a Biblical Leadership class. Then prayer and revive nights will soon follow in September. If you are seeking intentional community come say hello.

Just roll with it...

Psalm 37: 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

This is one of those favorite passages for many of us as there is so much packed in there... We all like the idea of God giving us the *desires* of our heart. Of course this truth follows us delighting (being pliable and soft) in God and having those old desires replaced with new Godly desires. Our desires being replaced is a work in progress. We need to have the thinking replaced that something (anything) will solve some or all our problems and/or fill the whole in our heart that only the Holy Spirit can fill. We have been reminded this past few weeks as many suicides have been making headlines. A couple of these were the rich and famous and one was a young person with their entire life in front of them. No matter our situation in life we have to be found *delighting in God* or else the weight of the world will come crashing in upon us. There is no way of getting around this.

Verse 5 says to "commit your way to Him and He will act." One way of defining the word *commit* is *to roll*. I am reminded when I was young of going to the top of leveys, laying down, letting go and rolling down the hill until reaching the flat ground. Once committing to the roll there is no stopping. I knew the ride was going to fun but that it would likely be bumpy and may even hurt some but the adventure and the story was worth it. What a picture of our journey with God. We climb up to His holy hill and just *commit to the roll*. We know it is going to be uncomfortable at times but the reward is well worth it. Let's stop holding back and *just roll with it*.

Connected Family Weekend - June 8-10, 2018 - Regency Hotel, Covington

Connected Family Weekend - June 8-10, 2018 - Regency Hotel, Covington

Growing a Christian family is a spoken goal of most Christian families but often times few of us actually feel like we are succeeding as we once dreamed and desired. Growing a connected family requires clear vision, effective Biblical strategies, time investment, and keeping our priorities as priority. Building community begins in our family!

An open door for a new beginning... Weidner's journey update!

In early 2008 I journeyed to Shanghai to begin seeking the open door to relocate our family to China with the intention of building a work for a life time. By June 2008 we moved to China and to our surprise much of our dreams and ideas came to past much quicker than we had imagined as the Lord accomplished a quick work.  However, by June 2016, that I learned that I would not be able to return to China, for some years, due to my visa renewal being black listed. At this point our whole family moved to Taipei, Taiwan for a season of transition. We had prepared our team and community of this possibility and so when it happened Taiwan made the most sense to us. During this time we began developing a remote system to lead our team in the same time zone, launched different ministries, and began seeking the Lord if we were to stay in Taiwan long term.

By October 2017 Christina and I came to the conclusion that the most sustainable and wisest move was to relocate our family back to our home town where we would have the support needed to continue leading our China ministry and seeking opportunity to engage and build new ministries. 

By the end of December we were able to relocate to Mandeville, LA, secure a home, move all our furniture from Asia and even host Christmas Day for our family. Now we are settling into our new schedule of early morning and late evening meetings leading Shanghai while having the day to plan new adventures ahead.

We are planning to launch a church campus here on the Northshore of NOLA believing the Lord to once again direct our steps and enable us to build another great work on our home soil.

By January 25th we are launching a home group and on Jan. 27th a Saturday worship time. Our heart are for those who are not planted, seeking intentional community, hungry for Jesus, and desiring to REACH the loss with the good news.

It is good to be home, though we feel like foreigners some days, while we miss dearly our team and community in Shanghai. Hoping to connect and make many many new friendships here on good ole US soil.

Check out some of our work at www.Weidnerministries.com

Pastor James (PJ)

The Light Of The World

Jesus is our light and the Light of the World. As believers we are a people who have been "brought out of darkness and into His marvelous light". Why then do we often still live as people of the darkness?

Just Your Average Guy/Girl

Some days we hope and pray that there is more to us than there is, but when we look again into the mirror we realize *we are who we are* and who we are is the called of God, set apart, to go out and get busy with the Lord's work for one more day.