Downtown Vibes

Last Sunday night was surreal. I walked through the crowd of young professionals that had gathered at Imurj for our first Late Night of 2018 and I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

The place was packed. I was overwhelmed with joy seeing all of the faces that I hadn’t seen since our last gathering in November. The music was blaring and the excitement was palpable. I thought to myself, “wow…look at what God has done.”

In May of last year, Tracy and I were approached by the Young Pros leadership team at Hope to come alongside and help lead the group.

We said yes and decided to do what we had always known to do…gather a bunch of people in our home, love the hec out of them, and sing and preach about a man name Jesus from Nazareth who upended cultural norms, healed the sick, fed the hungry, liberated the oppressed, and challenged people to repent and believe in the gospel.

Our first night we had 57 people at our house! Elliot Coleman stood in the middle of my living room and led worship with nothing but a guitar and his voice.

Eventually we outgrew the space at my apartment and then my house. We needed a new place. As wonderful as the church is, I really wanted to get out in the city.

I asked some musician friends of mine for some good performing venues and one friend recommended Imurj in downtown. Imurj is a local art gallery/performance venue in downtown Raleigh. Elliot and I checked out the spot and as soon as we walked in and looked around we could feel this was the right place.

The staff was amazing and we eventually worked out a deal where we would do Late Night every second Sunday of the month at Imurj. We have a six-month contract with them and we’re excited to see the partnership expand.

I’m so proud of how our leadership team stepped up and recruited volunteers and made sure that our Young Pros felt valued and loved.

I shared a message entitled, “Come Through, It’s Lit.” I told everyone that when a group of people gather together to lift up the name of Christ it’s going to be lit. It’s going to be exciting, fun, and energizing.

I talked about how many of us can fall into the trap of living our Christian experience in a way that is tamed, domesticated, safe, and that maintains the status quo. When we have a faith that is timid, safe, and upholds the status quo there will be a proclivity towards isolation. Community is vital to our spiritual growth.

This whole process has reminded me of the importance of stepping out in faith. Why can’t you turn your passions into possibilities this year? Why do you have to go another year of sensing your dreams, but failing to seize them? There comes a point where you must excuse your excuses. There is an old American proverb that says, “excuses are merely nails used to build a house of failure.” Decide that 2018 is the year where you will STOP making excuses and start laying the ground work to put your vision and dreams in motion.

As a group, we decided to be bold and step out in faith to be in downtown Raleigh. It’s exciting to break into new territory. God is always doing something new.

I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.


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