So last week I told everybody how the idea of Cross-Work church had threefold inception, and then gave a quick list and a recount of the first. This week I’d like to peel back the second layer of the journey God took me thru to planting a church in a small town in West Texas.
I had some very close friends and ministry partners that were called by God to plant a church in Puerto Rico. I could go on for days on how God worked that out and made way for that to happen. It was exciting to watch my friends dive into God’s calling for their lives. We had done camps together, gone on missions together, served weekly in our local church, and our kids were great friends. As I watched them prepare, my study on church planting continued. It wasn’t long before I read a disturbing statistic on church planting: lack of on the ground support and going alone is consistently top reasons church start-ups fail.
Since my wife and I were already considering church planting, we began to pray about going with our friends to Puerto Rico. It seemed to make a ton of sense. We started to brainstorm about what value we could add, and that’s when we got excited about it. We could make a great team! We mentioned the idea to the future planters, and they loved it! So we planned an expedition. Soon after they got set up on the island, my wife and I would come to visit them and ask God if he wanted us to join them in Puerto Rico.
If you have never been to the island of Puerto Rico, I highly recommend it! No passport needed, no currency exchange, and the flight is only 5 hours from Dallas! Just like that, you are in paradise. The people are kind and many love the opportunity to practice their English, so there are built-in opportunities for sharing The Gospel! Best I can say, looking back there was no good reason NOT to go to Puerto Rico and assist our friends. The best way I can explain our reason for not going is that it was like the shoe just didn’t fit right.
That shoe should have fit. It was the right size. The material was to our liking. We even liked the color. But for some odd reason, it just didn’t fit right. We felt God say something to the effect of “this isn’t it for you.” All parties involved were disappointed. We were emotionally ready for what God had next for us, we thought we had a direction, but the fit wasn’t right.
So now what? We went back to doing the last thing we knew God said to do. We went back to looking into church planting while we lived our life out in the place God had for us. That leads us to church planting books. I’ll talk thru that next week!
Until then, what do you think? Have you had similar experiences? Does God speak to you in different ways? I’d love to continue the conversation. Drop us a line here at Cross-Work.
-Your favorite Church Planter,