By: Ashlyn Portero
Last Sunday I got to celebrate Easter at the Civic Center with close to 4,000 people. I also got to celebrate roughly a year on staff with City Church. I remember driving to The Moon for our 2011 Easter service, sitting in the front row, standing next to Dean as people kept pouring out after the service. I was so excited to be a part of the energy and hype and growth–and I had no idea what I was in for.
This year, I still had no idea. You can stick a walkie talkie and a magnetic name tag on yourself and it doesn’t mean anything. Our staff had done everything possible to prepare for this event. Volunteers were trained. Setup happened without any major glitches. We advertised, we built the hype, we prayed without ceasing…and then we let go. We had no idea what to expect, and then 4,000 people showed up. And then Dean preached the Gospel. And then people raised their hands to show they wanted this truth in their lives. And then people found Jesus.
The past year has been a lot of planning and then letting go. When I took this position with City Church, I was letting go of 4 years’ worth of planning for a career I found out I didn’t want, and I didn’t even know why. I’ve spent the last year trying really hard to show God my plans–and I make excellent life plans–and then He has said “Let go.” What I’ve found is that when you give up your vision for God’s, He doesn’t just say “good job, you figured it out!” and then send you on your way. He builds that vision, until it’s larger than you.
I want to see the power of the Gospel explode in Tallahassee. I want to see divisions and prejudices and preconceptions erased as people come together to follow Jesus. I want to see the people I love find grace and new life in the Gospel, not because that sounds nice and spiritual but because Jesus has radically changed their lives. We have this vision at City Church, and as long as God’s hand is on it we will keep working to make that vision a reality.