So over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking readers on of the journey God took me that has brought me thru to plant a church in Tahoka, Texas. From pro-wrestling to Puerto Rico and getting older, the path has not been easy on to follow—or recount! That being said, Jesus has kept his promise and has been with me every step. This week I’ll share what I learned from books and how God likes to challenge me to use what I learn. If any of this sounds exciting or interesting, maybe you could come to check us out. We will even save you a seat.
So let start with a bit of a confession: my brain kind works in pictures. I don’t know why that’s just how I’m wired. When it comes to the subject of books, I turn into a 2nd grader, and I’m mentally transported to my elementary school library. There were posters placed all over the place with little slogans encouraging us to read. The posters said stuff like: never stop learning-read on, reading is dreaming with open eyes, and train your brain-read more.
Reading is like standing on the shoulders of giants; I can see farther thru reading what others learned. So naturally, when I started to consider church planting, I read lots of books on the subject. I’m not a fan of guys who write out their theory’s and best guesses and try to pass themselves off as experts. For some reason, in ministry, it is acceptable for people with little to no experience to become professors or write books on such things. I’m not interested in those guys; I want to learn from and read books by dudes who have done the work. I only want to learn from knights with dented armor!
While reading and studying on church planting, I was living life: family, kids, work, and ministry. My kids went to school in the town where we lived. I don’t know how you relate to God, but often He will give me new information, then present ways for me to use that information. Well, I began to notice all the people I was driving past to go do church in another town. I started to imagine the authors of those books calling out all the things I was not doing in my town. The problem with standing on the shoulders of giants is that you are really close to their big mouths!
The books I was reading, and the work of the Holy Spirit collided in one memorable incident. My kids had a friend over. This friend was an instigator; you know the type. He seemed to enjoy stirring the pot of my boys' emotions. He’d add a pinch of mayhem, a dash of unhealthy competition, mix in a dare to be brave or not be chicken and presto! My boys were tooth and nail fighting.
In short, I had learned to be extra involved when this kid was over. I was watching my four boys play and interact with this kid thru the window when the chaos chef started using his recipe. I needed to get involved. As I headed to the door to stop the fight that was about to happen, I caught myself praying. I said, “God, if some church doesn’t take the Gospel to that boy, then he’s going to take all kinds of sins to my boys.”
This reactionary prayer resulted in a great conviction. It was like God was saying, “That’s probably true, so Mike, you should do something about that.” Like the ending to an M. Night Shyamalan movie, my brain started backtracking thru the people I’ve overlooked in my town. I saw the faces of the kids at my boys elementary. I remembered the people walking as I drove past on the way to church in another town.
So here I am. Just trying to be obedient to God. I believe this is something God asked me to do and it lines up with His word. So I have to do it.
What about you? Are there things you have been reading that God is convicting you to start doing? Have you had similar experiences where God gives you an idea then challenges you to take action on what you learned? We’d love to hear your story, or even get your reaction to this one. Drop us a note.
-Your favorite Church Planter