A Day To Remember

The September 11 attacks happened less than two months after Kelley and I moved to New York City to launch The Journey. In an odd way, I thank God that He brought us here before that infamous day.

There is a sense in the city, even seven years later, that if you didn’t experience September 11, 2001 as a New Yorker, you can’t relate to the horror of being here during the attacks… and you had better not try. If we had come in after the fact and attempted to do ministry – to help people wrap their minds around their questions and grief – we wouldn’t have had the same ability to empathize. We wouldn’t have had the same voice.

The Journey launched weekly services six months after September 11, 2001, on a schedule that was not our own, but totally God’s. Since that day, I have been privileged to pastor in New York City. It’s a city unlike any other.

The Journey currently meets under the shadow of the Empire State building, seen here on September 11, 2001 with the smoking towers in view just behind. This is the city we love. Its people are strong and courageous. They are intelligent, thoughtful and resilient. God is doing an amazing work here and we are humbled to be part of it.

Spend some time thinking about your city. What is its story? What events, both good and bad, have helped to shape and define it in the last couple of decades? To do ministry effectively, you must understand the voice of your city – and learn to speak the same language.

On this anniversary of, arguably, our nation’s worst tragedy, also take a few minutes to remember and reflect on how you felt on September 11, 2001. Say a prayer for the families who still deal with the resulting loss each and every day and for our country as we continue to move into the future with the lessons of September 11 always fresh in our hearts.

– Nelson

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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