Those that have followed me know that last summer I relocated to central Alabama to serve as Children’s and Preschool minister. After just over a year we had to come back to Florida, due to difficulties related to trying to sell our home. While I was in Alabama, and perhaps a little before, God began to change the sorts of things He was saying to me in my quiet times and Bible study. I became more and more convinced that the next thing God was sending me to was to pastor a church. At the time I figured I would be in Alabama for a few years then return to central Florida to pastor an existing church. Obviously, God had a different plan.
After returning to our home in Florida and taking some time to get settled in I began to focus my prayer and Bible study on seeking God’s direction for the next step in my life and ministry. As I did I began to think that God might be calling me to plant a church. I pushed back against the idea for a number of reasons: it’s scary, it may mean being bi-vocational again, I have no experience or training, I had no idea where to start. In spite of all of these things, the more I prayed and read and studied, the more I became convinced that God was calling me to this.
When I left Alabama I felt that God was calling me back to this area for a specific reason. I felt that He had a plan for me, my family and my ministry in this area that has been home to all of us for most of our lives. I didn’t know just what that plan was, but as I’ve sought answers I have come to believe that God wants me to plant a church in this area. At this time I still don’t know exactly what that is going to look like. I don’t know exactly how that will progress or when we will start holding public worship services. But, I know that this is what God is calling me to.
So, what’s next? Honestly, I don’t know exactly what comes next. I don’t know what God has planned. One thing I do know is that nearly my entire ministry has progress in unconventional ways. I’m convinced that this new work will be the same. For right now I am diving deeper into study to find what God wants to tell me about this new direction. I am also working to learn more about the area that God is sending me to serve. I am praying and searching for the people that God has selected to be part of the launch team. I’m also beginning to connect with a variety of people that I believe God wants to use to help me reach the people He is sending me to.
How can I help? Certainly as this thing progresses there will be many needs. As of right now I have a few ideas, but I have no way of knowing what all the needs will be as we move forward. But, here are some ways that you can help now:
- Pray: This one is a no brainer and can seem kind of cliche or even trite. But, I know that without prayer this venture cannot experience success. Here are some specific ways that I would invite you to pray at this time.
- For me: That God would continue to guide me and show me HIS vision for this church. That God would protect me and help me stay focused.
- My family: Pray that God would protect them. Pray that this new work would be a blessing to them and not simply a burden. We know it will be hard work, but I pray that it will also be a blessing.
- The team: I know that God has already chosen a group of people that will serve alongside me to lead this new work. Pray that God would:
- prepare them.
- encourage them.
- help me see them.
- help me lead them.
- The people: I know that there are specific people that God is sending us to reach with this new work. Join me in praying for them, that God would:
- begin to call them to Himself.
- show us where they are.
- send people to plant seeds and prepare their spiritual soil.
- prepare me, and those He has chosen to help me, to reach these people
- The Community: My desire is that this new work would have a real connection with the community. This will occur in a number of different ways. Pray that God would soften the hearts of the people and leaders in the community to welcome us as we seek to connect with and serve them. Also pray that God would show us where He is already at work so that we can join in that.
Want to do more? If you would like to do more than pray, subscribe to our email list using the form below. I will be sending periodic email updates to this list to keep people informed about what God is doing and what our specific needs are. If your interested in some of the needs that I see coming in the next several weeks feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your willingness to pray for us as we step out in faith to reach this community for Jesus.
Stay tuned. I will continue to post updates on my blog as things progress. Still, the best way to stay up to date will be to subscribe to the mailing list.
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