By Maureen Kasdorf
I grew up in the church.
Literally, in this church.
My parents were part of the small group of faithful followers who planted Meadowbrook Church thirty years ago. But it wasn’t Meadowbrook then and it wasn’t what the rest of the world thought of as church. We met in non-traditional locations and had unfamiliar services.
For twelve years I watched and participated in the growing of this church. On the long road of faithfulness our family carted loads of equipment on Sunday mornings, helped with overhead projectors, organized childcare, small groups and bulletins. We were ushers, greeters, nursery workers, sound people, singers, actors, teachers, pray-ers, elders, deacons and whatever else was needed.
It wasn’t easy being in on the ground floor. It was slow; there were growing pains and stretching times. Yet, the faithful and The Faithful One remained committed to the call. Faithfulness is like perseverance. Paul says in Romans 5:4 that “perseverance [produces] character and character hope” and we know that hope does not disappoint.
The hope of Meadowbrook Church in Wauwatosa was not yet realized until recently. For many of us founders, the danger was fixing our eyes on all that “isn’t yet” instead of His promise to complete the call.
When some people did start looking around it seemed easier to walk away. Sometimes the music was good, sometimes not. Sometimes the youth and children’s programs were good, sometimes not. Sometimes the location was okay, sometimes it was terrible. Sometimes it seemed like every other church plant was growing exponentially while we were on life-support.
But God, in His faithfulness, gave strength to His people to continue the hard work, not knowing how or when or where God would complete the task of leading this body to a permanent and flourishing place. The faithful forefathers remind me of the Israelites credited in the great hall of faith. Of them it can be said, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth”. Hebrews 11:13.
The people who gathered faithfully from the beginning may not have seen this church come to the figurative Promised Land. Some have died, some have moved on or given up. But the faithful have seen it and welcomed it. It was a longer road than we expected. It felt a lot like wandering in the desert. But in God’s faithfulness, He filled his people with clear purpose and perseverance. He spurred them on.
One of the great gifts this church has given me is a sense of purpose and perseverance. The founders’ faithfulness kept us at MBC through many seasons. We believed because of those who’d gone before us. The great heroes of the faith.
The value of perseverance, faithfulness, and knowing Who we are following, even if we don’t know how or where, gives us hope. This great confident assurance that He will be faithful to complete the work He began. He will lead us to the Promised Land.