Sunday, April 17, 2016

all of the things

I want to tell you all of the things.

But because of all of the things, I do not have time to write about them.

Here is one of the things:

We are about one month out from the launch Hill City Church in SGF MO. I have had so many mixed emotions about this particular part of our journey, about the unknown and the change and the instability and the work.

But at this very moment I am excited about the journey God has us on with so many of our great friends and fellow laborers. There is much to be done, but God is providing the energy and inspiration to fuel the fires and get things done. (And that means I am often putting extra energy into the "laborers at home" end of things, since Brad has a lot on his plate at the moment, particularly because of "all of the things" mentioned above. I am thankful to have more energy for this endeavor, now that we are out of the three-month-home zone with Clementine, as well as into the "Oaklee is now sleeping in our closet instead of our bed" zone.)

I was able to travel with Brad to Austin, TX, to meet with leaders from The Austin Stone and Austin New Church. (My poor parents had to watch our four small kids. We've been ruining my parents' plans for years, folks. Five years, to be exact, which just happens to be the number of years we have had kids. I hope to be back to the blog soon to explain ALL OF THE WAYS we've ruined their plans. It's ridiculous.)

That visit with the leaders of those two churches, though...sooo encouraging, so inspiring, so exciting. It was thrilling to see the potential of a church plant in Springfield, particularly the potential of a church plant with GOSPEL RESTORATION at its center. It has been so hard to be fully excited about this church plant because we are leaving our church home of eight years, which means that along with it we are leaving so many amazing people. Seriously, that church is filled with SUCH GREAT PEOPLE. And I know we are not physically moving anywhere, but we are losing that experience of seeing many of those people on a nearly weekly basis. That's sad. That said, I think my inclusion on the Austin trip and meetings were divinely appointed, in part because He has replaced much of my sadness and reluctance with excitement. Because of some of the conversations in Austin my mind is spinning with ideas about how this thing could go and how our community and "the least of these" could see the love of Christ up close.

When Brad joined a church staff, a wise man semi-jokingly warned us that working in a church in like working with sausage: "Once you know how it's made you won't want to eat it." I have found that to be mostly true (as it is true in nearly every workplace, I believe). This new church will have problems. Every church will have problems, as they are all filled with people who have problems. I am not naive enough to believe our church will be perfect. But that's ok. I'm praying for the future of the church we are starting, as well as the church we are leaving.

In fact, we are covering this thing in prayer, and it's important that we continue to do so. We are absolutely nothing without the one who died for us, which means our ideas and inspirations are nothing without His clear direction and blessing. But it's so very exciting to see where He may, in fact, be leading.