The last two years have been amazing.
On July 1, 2007 I wrapped up my pastoral service at Northgate Church in Batavia, New York. That was a day that has forever impacted how I view God and the mission of the church. We baptized 163 people that day! (read it here)
We packed up, sold our house (one year later) and headed down south to Mountain Lake Church to learn how to plant a church! We spent one year in a church planting residency through churchplanters.com learning from the experts: Shawn Lovejoy, David Putman, and a host of others!
During our time there, God called us to Cincinnati to plant Walls Down Church. We had a clear vision of what God wanted to do so we developed a plan, built a team, generated funds, and set about the work of planting a church. As you may know, Walls Down never launched. It didn’t launch BUT, the dream hasn’t changed, the passion hasn’t devolved, and the confidence… ahhh the confidence, while it comes from a new source (Christ) it is stronger than ever!
Over the last several months we have been seeking God’s desire for our lives. We’ve prayed, traveled, sought counsel from mentors and friends, read Scripture, fasted, journaled, and wondered… or wandered (we did both!). We’ve had opportunities ranging from California to Illinois, from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and from Colorado to Ohio. The salaries have ranged from “Oh my gosh that’s great” to “Oh my gosh, that’s awful.” The diversity of people groups and the emphasis of the various local churches has been interesting! We’ve had a love/hate experience with these last several months – loving the adventure and hating the uncertainty.
The decision of where to go came down to the two smallest churches, both with similar stories. Both churches were planted 10-15 years ago. Neither church owns a building. Both churches stated that it’s time to refocus and even relaunch.
After much prayer we determined that God’s place for us was the church located in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
This is a church that was planted ten years ago and commissioned to be a church planting church. They are the only Free Methodist Church in South Carolina. There are a handful of committed, passionate, talented, and courageous people at this church. I am looking forward to getting to know them. God has prepared my family and me. God has prepared the people of the church in Rock Hill. God is bringing us together to continue writing His story of the redemptive mission of the church.
I am excited about this opportunity because it allows me to serve in a role that I’m familiar with – bringing a new focus to a church, AND it allows me to scratch my church planting itch!
The mission is clear – help people discover and live the life Jesus promised.
The location is clear – for us, it starts in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
And for now one more thing is clear… there’s a lot of packing to do so I may as well get to it!