Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Direction

Since the beginning of this blog, I have had a vision to really just share whatever has been on my heart. If you have been reading this, you probably could outline seasons of my life over the last few years of ministry efforts in which I have been involved. It really all began with my time at a homeless shelter in Canton, Ohio called the Refuge of Hope, leading what came to be called Streetlights. A friend of mine had started going down there each week to hang out with the guys. It really transformed into this wonderful night of hanging out together just as a bunch of guys and finishing the night with some Bible study and prayer. It has continued and branched out into a couple different avenues, which is now called The Bridge. You can check out more about it here.

Next came our time in Waynesburg, Ohio when my wife and I’s pastor, friend and mentor hooked us up with a group of people that stepped away from their former denomination. That group of people left due to some unfortunate decisions their particular denomination made as to their willingness to give into culture rather than being courageous enough to be faithful to God’s word. They were hurt, frustrated and attempting to discern what was next for them. Looking back, God sent us there to help them take their next step. It was not a church plant; though I thought at times when we were there that perhaps that was where it was heading. My wife and I are incredibly grateful that God sent us there to meet and be with those wonderful people. Though it was incredibly painful to leave them and come to a place where we all realized that it was best to part ways, that experience and those people remain very dear to our hearts.

When we returned to our home church, Stanwood CommunityChurch, things were different honestly. It was hard honestly stepping back into old patterns and relationships because we were still healing from Waynesburg. It was a bit like not wearing some article of clothing for 2 years and then putting it on again; it just didn’t fit the same. That has been over a year now that we have been back and during this time we have been trying to discern what God is leading us to do next. One thing that we or at least I have been convicted of is that we need to spend time focusing on our marriage and our family now that Nora is here. My wife sacrificed a ton while I was in seminary and we are realizing the impact that had now that we are almost a year past my graduation. I picked up lots of bad habits as far as time management and just how we spent our time together in general. In some ways, we forgot how to spend time together because it was so rare while I was in school. So I am focusing on that and leaning hard on God’s grace.

As far as the future, that’s where the title of this post comes in. For nearly two years now I have been thinking through, praying through and just immersed in church planting. It has taken up much of what I read, listen to and digest. So…we are praying about planting a church. There, I said it. That will be the new direction for this blog; our adventure in praying through and discerning God’s call on our lives, specifically regarding planting a church.

Stay tuned…

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