Welcome to the first post in my new series on church planting. With these posts, I hope to be a help and encouragement to others out there on this same journey. Perhaps I will even nudge some towards it!
First, let me say that I’m married to a wonderful guy. My husband, Rob, is our household’s fearless spiritual leader, and as his helpmate, I work alongside of him in many aspects, ministry not withstanding. Over the past 21 years, we’ve been strengthening our relationship with one another, growing in our walk with the LORD, and raising the six children He has blessed us with. We’ve been tweaking our parenting techniques and have become accustomed to facing challenges, praying through them, coping with difficulties, and celebrating victories (small and large).
This brings me to earlier this year, when Rob, while serving as a Pastor of Worship Arts, found himself being called to church planting. Okay, so raising a large family – yes… but raising an entire congregation? Were we capable? Is a new church even necessary? I needed to first be convinced before I was on board. See my earlier post: How Much Do You Care? for more on this. Through careful investigation, I had learned that church planting is the best way to demonstrate love and make disciples. With this knowledge and the Spirit of God compelling us, we committed to plant a church just 16 miles away, in a newly developed territory. We buckled up and prayed hard.
Fast-forward to today. It wasn’t off to a great start. You see, our launch date is set for November 17, 2013. That means we’re living in a time of waiting, and the tension can get… well, fierce. Now, I know I’m not alone in this. In fact, Jeff Goins is releasing a book on this very topic later this month. Check it out. It’s called The In-Between. In it, he teaches us to enjoy the interim.
So we will take delight in this time of preparation. We will especially enjoy the encounters with God in which He imparts vision for this church, that is, a strong impression about how the future might develop.
Dennis McCallum describes leadership vision as “a picture of a better future for a group or individual, informed by the principles of Scripture… It seems that God stimulates the leader’s imagination at certain times to see a desirable future.” I am fully embracing the start of this church planting movement and trust in the power of God to bring the pictures to fruition. (Caution: when sharing the Gospel, stick to Scripture. Even with the best intentions, sharing a vision can put distance between you and someone you hope to reach.)
We are confident in Christ and trust His Spirit to bring forth the increase. Our goals are right, and we have an inner sense of excitement and urgency. Still, we are living in the in-between. God is shaping us, transforming us, and giving us vision… and that vision is worth a thousand words.