As many of you know from reading my wife’s Facebook status her anniversary gift brought me to tears. Many of you were texting her asking her “What was it?”, “Why did it make him cry?” I could just show you, but you would not quite get it unless I give you the back story.
Our wedding anniversary in January 4th and this year Mollie and I celebrated 18 years of marriage. On our anniversary we have a tradition of going out to dinner and, being the first week of the new year, we take time to reflect on the past 12 months, the trials and triumphs, and talk about what we want to accomplish during our next year together.
As many of you know the past few years have been tough on us ministry wise. My dream job, being the Small Groups Pastor at my home church, that I spent six years training for was taken from me by an interim senior pastor who did not have a clue what he was doing and given to someone else, a great guy, but who had no experience in Small Groups. (I was put in charge of overseeing the Greeters ministry). Budget deficits and having a position that made more since to be staffed by a volunteer led to me having to leave the church l loved. Last summer another church hired me to plant one of their campuses. They let us spend an entire weekend packing up our entire house to move knowing full well that on the following Monday (the day I was to start) they were going to tell me they decided not to plant the campus and I did not have a job with them after all. (We still have yet to unpack all the boxes). And this Fall I was a finalist for the Senior Pastor position at a great church north of Atlanta, one that was a perfect fit for my personality, style, and vision for ministry in the church… and they chose someone nine years my junior (another great guy who was also a great choice) from a church I turned down a position with a decade ago to instead go to seminary and train for my dream job at my home church.
Needless to say the review of the past year during dinner was kind of a downer. (I laughed as I typed that last sentence.) Mollie ask me "What do you see yourself doing, what is it you want to do?"I started running with the vision I feel God has given me for a church. A church that is into Christianity and rejects the Church-ianity that rules most congregations. A church that is willing to take real risk, not just willing to dip their big toe outside the box, with a vision of doing whatever it takes short of sin to reach people for Christ. A church that REALLY has a “Tradition of Being Untraditional”, willing barbeque the sacred cow at the drop of a hat. A church that has real mature believers that when they get older in years (40’s, 50’s and up) are mature enough to put aside their personal preferences in music, style, tradition and do what it takes to reach the next generation for Christ.
Mollie ask me "What is keeping you from launching it?"
My response, "Fear... what if I mess it up, what if it fails?"
For those of you who cannot remember the verse, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJ).
Now you know why I cried.
So…anyone out there ready to be part of something bigger than themselves, like nothing Victoria has seen in years? Let me know, I can use you and we can grow together.
It’s time to make a difference. Are you ready?