Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Church Plant

This week has been a good, much more definitive week in making progress towards the church plant.  (For those of you who are catching this blog intermittently, Bryan and I are planting a church in Gautier through the Southern Baptist Convention and the Acts 29 network.)  We've finally started to make headway in the Acts29 application process but still have a ways to go.  Another good thing that's happened is we now have several verbal commitments from local churches to financially support us in the future, which we will need very much as we get things rolling.  Tomorrow night, our core group for the church plant will meet for the first time as an "official" worship gathering in one of our member's homes.  I'm looking forward to the sweet fellowship with these dear friends who have given up so much already to be on this journey with us.  If you are local and are curious to find out more about what the church plant will be about, we'd love for you to join us one Sunday night to worship with us.

At this point, how can you support us?  Primarily, we need some crazy serious prayer warriors.  Here's a quick list of things to pray for.

  1. Peripety Designs would support us financially.  We've had a couple of contracts fall through this past week after investing a great deal of time in them.  This has been disappointing and frustrating.  Thankfully, the large majority of our clients have been terrific, but these bad apples can really hurt our family when the main source of income is web design now.  Please pray that God would bring good business in so that we can pay bills and stay in the black during this time.
  2. Bryan and I would figure out how to live life now with our new schedules and responsibilities.  It's been tricky learning how to work together full-time with our different quirks and needs.  I think we are finding patterns that are beginning to click, but we would appreciate prayer in this area so we can be wise managers of our time and skills.
  3. Church Plant's Core Group- God would bind us together and make us one.  We would love each other well and be missional in our community for the glory of Christ.  Pray that God would help us all to be more effective in reaching out in our neighborhoods and making disciples for His name's sake.
  4. Church Plant Details- Bryan would have wisdom, direction, and clarity as he plans out the church plant and presents it to the different people we meet.  Pray that God would provide wise, committed believers to join in our Core Group who are willing to serve and do life with us.  Pray that God would bring believers and churches alongside us to support us with prayer and resources.
  5. Gautier- God would begin making a way for us to share to the many, many unchurched people here.  Pray that God would grant our Core Group favor with the people here as we seek to live out the Gospel faithfully in our own contexts.  Pray that God would send forth workers into this great harvest.  So few really have heard the Gospel here and have seen it lived out in a way that matters.  Pray that God would burden our Core Group with great love and compassion for the people around us so that we will minister to them out of joy instead of out of guilt or arrogance.
As the church plant progresses, I am more aware of how enormous this task is before us.  I think I have met nearly every Debby Downer within a hundred mile radius of our home this week, and the conversation has went like this.

Curious person-"So, what are you guys doing now?"
Me-"Church planting in Gautier."
Curious person- *Awkward Silence*

At that point, I know I am being sized up.  Understandibly, the person is probably considering our age, our lack of financial resources,  the completely crazy task of starting something new when so many churches are out there willing to give us a salary now, or something else.  I know.  This is insane.

Here's what it comes down to.  I KNOW Bryan and I don't have what it takes to church plant.  If it all depends on how talented, creative, or resourceful we are, the mission will fail.  I DO know God has called us to do it.  It all comes down to realizing that God is much bigger than us and knowing that if we are going to church plant here in Gautier it has to happen in God's strength and power... not ours.

Every time I begin to struggle and wonder what in the world we have started to do... this song plays somewhere.  I feel like it is God reminding me over and over again through the music who He is.  That is enough.  Who I am really doesn't matter in the end.  I'm simply called to be obedient.  It is up to God to plant a church as Bryan and I work through Him  Here's the song... enjoy.

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