What's Your Story – Bruce & Heather

[Guest post by Bruce & Heather] – Life had been going along just fine until our Sunday afternoon drives to a Starbucks near downtown started messing with us.

The trip was our way of ending a hectic Sunday of multiple church services with something fun. Our drives into the city started out as a way to relax, but over time, something significant happened.

As we drove through the city, we began to notice that people’s needs were quite different from those of folks in the suburbs. We were confronted with homelessness, low- income housing, unemployment, and poorly rated schools. Often we would see groups of young adults sitting in parks or other public places, wasting away their day.

Do they have jobs? Has anyone encouraged them to finish school? Do they know they have been created for a purpose—that they have something of value to contribute to the world?

We realized that the people we were seeing were full of untapped potential.

As we drove home and through the iron gates to our community each week, we couldn’t shake the disparity between the two worlds. Ours was so comfortable, and just minutes away from our backyard was a city full of needs. How had we failed to notice? Why had we failed to be generous to fellow image bearers in need?

Over the course of the year, we realized something about ourselves.

We were addicted to comfort.

Before our Sunday afternoon drives, it was easy to fill our every whim and pass it off as a need. But once confronted with the realities of other people’s lives and the difficulties they face, it became harder for us to purchase another Hugo Boss shirt or another designer handbag.

The war in our hearts and minds was not to be quieted until the day we got an unexpected phone call.

A dying church in the city called Bruce to ask him to become their pastor. The church had one year to live before the lights would be turned off and the doors shut. If this happened, it would communicate to thousands of people that there is no life or hope to be found in the church. Suddenly, the previous year and our growing unease all made sense.

Our story was in need of a rewrite, but not because it was a bad story. Quite the opposite. We were in a good story, but God wanted something more for us.

We said goodbye to a contract on a McMansion dream house. We traded ministry and friends at a large church to rebirth a dying church as a new church plant. In the worst economy in our lifetimes, we went from a great salary to no salary. We are learning to live with less so that those with less can live with more, and God is exchanging a good story for an even better one.

You know every good story has a back-story–those things that happen beneath the water line that we don’t see until after the fact. 

Almost two years prior, God placed in our hearts the idea of writing a book.

We wrote nights, weekends, and on vacations. Our first two book proposals were turned down. But we continued to write. We were so convinced that God wanted us to write that we decided to finish the book even if no publisher thought it worthy of publication. At the beginning of 2010, we made one last pitch to NavPress.

For months we heard nothing.

In August of 2010, we resigned our comfortable life and planted Christ Fellowship Tampa. Some did not understand our decision.

A few even told us, we were “committing ministry suicide.”

But we could not shake the feeling that what God was doing was much bigger than we could see or understand. Three days later, NavPress came calling. It had been so long since we had submitted our book proposal that we actually thought they had forgotten about us. They wanted to publish our book!

It is our hope that ReWritten: Exchanging Your Story for God’s Story will inspire you to live the story God has for you. What’s your story?

To win a copy of ReWritten, please leave a comment on this blog or purchase a copy for yourself on Amazon.

Bruce & Heather Moore made the most extreme decision of their lives by leaving a large suburb church to rebirth a dying church with one year to live. They have seen the radical transformation of a church and the stories of countless lives rewritten. Bruce serves as Senior Pastor at Christ Fellowship Tampa and they have a very active preschooler.

 

14 comments on “What's Your Story – Bruce & Heather”

  1. Kristyn says:

    What a story to show God’s grace when we are simply willing to live out our callings.  Thank you for stepping in faith AND sharing your story

  2. Trainer_cate says:

    What an encouraging story!  Isn’t it interesting how many people have so much to say when you make a decision to go in a direction that you are being led, but is maybe different than culture recommends?

  3. Jason Wert says:

    I want this book.

    I think I need this book.

  4. Jenny says:

    I.d love to read your book!

  5. Ava says:

    I am learning that exchanging my story for God’s story is not a one-time decision, but rather a lifetime of tiny, intentional decisions made moment by moment and step by step.
    It would be a privilege to read this book!

  6. Joan_stanley says:

    Found your story inspiring and encouraging that there are still people in our City that ‘care’ when they see those less fortunate and actually do something about it.  It’s like the story of the ‘Good Sheperd leaving His Flock to find the one lost sheep.  His Love reaches out to the Lost, the lonely, the poor.  Thank you for emulating Jesus Christ and going out to find the ‘lost sheep and carrying him on your shoulders.  You’re in my prayers for success in your work for the Lord.  God Bless you.  

  7. Chriswatson1229 says:

    God is the author of our story, since we’re living in “HIS-story” every moment!  God continues to redeem and refine us, molding our hearts so that the Holy Spirit flows through us and out from us the life, love and compassion of Jesus for ALL people!  His love and power reign! 

  8. Tiffany says:

    Thank you for sharing their story! I’m actually at this point in my life now and it was encouraging to read Bruce and Heather’s story. I read a snippet of chapter one online and I look forward to reading more!

  9. Stephanie McGovern says:

    What an amazing story of faith and sacrifice!  I admire your strength to make this decision together, to live out God’s purpose in a place that desperately seems to need it.  Thank you for sharing!!

  10. Jennifer K says:

    What a great post!  I love when God is consistent.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about purpose and direction, and I feel like God is just “clearing my plate” so that He can fill with what He wants for me.  Reading Bruce and Heather’s story is so encouraging!  Thank you for sharing, Renee!  :o)

  11. Mbeck says:

    Love stories of people following God even as it seems things won’t work out…only to see later things were going exactly according to HIS plan.  I can relate to the becoming uncomfortable with the comfortable life.  I recently moved from my comfortable home/city teeming with Christian support which I love, but wanted to experience a place where people don’t have him.  I moved for school, but am seeing a far different world than I’m used to.  It’s encouraging to see others’ stories where God did a great work from their obedience to Him. I only hope and pray he will do the same in my life!

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       Congrats, you were chosen by random.org to win the free copy of ReWritten. Please email me your address (renee at devotionaldiva dot com).

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