2013 is going to go down in history as the year of transition for me…
In early March of this year I began the journey of searching for what was next in my life serving on a church staff. In May, I left Crossroads and my journey became a little less clear, but my search become more intense.
As the summer progressed I literally placed 100’s of resumes around the country…and a few internationally. The more diligently I worked, the more doors seemed to close in my face.
Mid-summer a friend of mine sent me a text asking if I had considered church planting. I responded with, “I love church planters and church plants. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing church planters over the last few years. I have always admired their adventurous spirit and commitment to do whatever it takes.
His reply, “Could you see yourself as a church planter?”
That had never entered my mind. I committed to pray. All the while, I am saying in my mind, “This can’t be what God has in mind for me.” For several days, my sister was the only person to whom I could say the words “church plant” out loud. During this time of half-hearted praying about church planting, I began to get little nudges from the Holy Spirit. The nudge was always to take the next step in the process and see what would happen.
In early August, I had a meeting with Terry Coy, the guy with the idea in the first place, to talk about what this might look like. At that point, I was still sure this couldn’t be God’s plan, but I would take it one step-at-a-time. God had not placed a group of people or a geographical place on my mind.
As Terry and I talked, I learned that the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention (SBTC) was focused on 3 border towns in Texas: El Paso, Laredo, and the Valley. As we discussed these areas, my heart was drawn to El Paso. Not sure why, but it was.
Terry gave me the name of a gentleman that serves with SBTC as a missionary in El Paso. It took me about 2 weeks of praying to work up the nerve to contact Chuy Avila. When we talked, we arranged a time for me to visit El Paso and see what God is doing there. You can read a part of that journey here: http://wp.me/pG5mP-jK
As the plane descended over the city of El Paso, God gave me an instant love for the city. As the weekend progressed, He gave me an infinity with the people in El Paso. God called and affirmed His calling in more ways than I can count over the 4 days. I won’t share all the details in this email. But, you will hear more, trust me!
Today, I am going through the process and making preparation to go to El Paso to plant a church (maybe churches) on the East side of the city. The East side of the city is growing like wild-fire and there is much need for conservative, evangelical churches in the area.
Today, I write to you for a couple of things. FIRST and foremost, would you pray for me and God’s work in El Paso. Here are some specific ways to pray:
-That I will be attentive to listen for and obey the Father’s voice.
-Ask the Lord to bring a buyer for my house in Houston–quickly.
-Faithfulness to do the paperwork, etc. that is needed to move the process along.
-Ask the Lord to raise up people of peace in El Paso.
-God’s favor with the people we encounter as we make plans in El Paso. Government officials, schools, neighborhood associations, realtors etc.
-The way to be opened with a congregation in El Paso to serve as the sponsor church. THIS THE MOST IMMEDIATE NEED–TODAY!
-Sponsors and supports that God will supply to meet every need.
-Provision for the immediate future (the checkbook is looking pretty bleak at this time).
-Moving day to come quickly!
Secondly, would you consider supporting the church plant financially? We will receive funds from the SBTC; however, we will need to raise funds as well. Would you pray about supporting us? Would you ask your home church to consider partnership with us financially? Ask God what He would have you do? If you do that, we’ll leave the results up to Him.
Next, I will need to raise some financial support for myself. There will be needs during this time of transition and as I move to El Paso.
Number next…consider planning a trip to El Paso. There will be a need for prayerwalking, kids clubs, festivals, etc. This is a team effort, so you will be needed! Ask you church to consider bring short-term teams.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do is PRAY. I am putting together a prayer support team. If you would be willing to pray with me during this journey, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will periodically send you updates on where we are in the process and specific ways to pray as I take the next step.
Thank you for walking this journey with me. Many of you have been praying faithfully for months. PLEASE don’t stop now. The enemy will do everything in his power to stop the work the Lord as called us to do. Thank you for your love and encouragement in the past and your willingness to take the next steps with me.
On a journey,