"So what's with your name?"
I'm glad you asked.
Do you have time for a little story?
This is Michael by the way.
I'm privileged to be the founding pastor of the Quarry and the teller of how God birthed this wonderful church. Our name comes out of a mission's trip to Juarez, Mexico that I led with a group of passionate high school students and their faithful adult leaders. The year was 1998.
After a long day of driving in 15 passenger vans, we stopped in Albuquerque, NM to rest for the night. Albuquerque is flanked by mountains, a geographical standout found lacking in Minnesota. I couldn't resist a unique opportunity so I invited anyone who wanted to wake early, drive up a mountain and watch the sun rise.
The next morning a rag tag group of teens and adult leaders ventured with me to witness the morning come to life from a nearby mountaintop. (Pro-tip: the view from a mountain isn't any better than watching the sun rise from an open field but it was cool to say we did.) With the sun making its way higher and higher in the sky, I took an alternate route through some canyons on our way back to the campground.
Halfway down the mountain, we were surprised by a sudden burst of brilliant green, starkly contrasting the otherwise brown backdrop of the arid terrain. We stopped to investigate and discovered a beautiful oasis complete with a bubbling brook, picnic benches and room to park.
Everyone gathered around a couple of carved up picnic tables where we spent some time singing and praying. It was a sweet moment. Before we packed back into the vans, I asked the students to head off on their own for a few minutes and just be still before God. I did the same. Opening my Bible, I started reading from Luke 19:28-40.
It's the story of Jesus triumphal arrival into Jerusalem. The church celebrates it as Palm Sunday. As the story goes, when the crowd saw Jesus coming into the city, they started cheering, waving palm branches and laying down their clothes on the road. They were having their own version of a street dance.
Not everybody was excited about Jesus' arrival. In a desperate attempt to silence the celebration, a group of religious leaders approached Jesus and asked him to make the crowds be quiet. His response was my calling. He said, “If they are quiet, then the rocks will cry out.” “I tell you, he replied, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!” ~ Luke 19:40
At that moment, surrounded by a mountain full of rocks, it was as if God were speaking directly to me. “Michael”, he said, “my people are silent. I need the rocks to cry out and you are one of those rocks.” Well, I thought, I could do that. I could be a rock. But as I stayed in the moment, listening for God's prompting, he impressed upon me that I wasn't the only 'rock' he wanted to cry out.
God wanted a front end loader full of rocks who would cry out for his glory! A little confused, I asked God, “You want more rocks? Where do we get more rocks?” The answer came immediately. "You get rocks from a quarry." That was it ... at least for the moment. Not sure what to do with my new found calling, I walked back to join the rest of the group with a story and what I thought was a potential new name for our student ministry.
I wasn't even close. About a year later, the day came when I felt God’s call to start a new church. As I prayed about a name, God gently reminded me of our time together in that canyon outside of Albuquerque. That's when it all came together. God gave me the name of our church on that mountainside; a name that is also the perfect analogy of what the church should be.
A quarry is a place where you seek to find rocks.
The church is a people who seek to find lost people.
A quarry is a place where rocks are formed; shaped and hewn for a specific purpose.
The church is a people who mentor and disciple new believers to develop an intimate and contagious relationship with Jesus.
A quarry is a place where rocks are sent out to build something outside the walls of the quarry.
The church is a people who disciple others for the purpose of being sent out to minister wherever God has called them.
The name of our church is the Quarry.
It is a name given by God, for the glory of God, and as a constant reminder of who God has called us to be.
As witnesses to the glory of God and the grace of Jesus Christ, may we never grow silent!