so, how are you guys deciding where to go and plant a new church?Great question.
I can't wait to preach my last series at New Hope. Don't read that wrong. Not to leave, but because I have been waiting to teach this for 7 years. It's all about how to HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD/FOLLOW HIS WILL. We will start that series in February.
So, here is some view into our lives for the world to see. We have finally been led to a region that we will consider for church-planting. It is not a given, as a matter of fact, we could EASILY come back and know the answer is NO. So don't send us there yet.
Here goes: 2 years ago we were at a conference in the Rocky Mountain region (Denver Area) and we loved our time there.
That's it? That's certainly a start. What? No angel visitation, stars exploding, mysterious calls or letters in the mail. No...after calling several people and praying, we found out some interesting things about the Rocky Mountain Region that coupled with a like for the area will lead us to further investigation.
*9/10 people are un-churched. We are losing this battle bad folks.
*Churches aren't connected very well at all.
*Church planters feel very much alone and there isn't a large movement to connect them.
*And when I say Salt Lake City, need I say more?
9 out of 10? Are you serious? We then found out that Colorado is the 3rd most un-churched state IN THE COUNTRY. Wow. Especially as Denver is expected to grow by 2 million people in the next 20 years.
And Utah is the fastest-growing state in the COUNTRY. UTAH? Yes, you read right.
When you hear that stuff, how can you not say, hmmmm. But then again, we ended up in a town that had not seen growth in a long, long time. Only God. Only OBEDIENCE.
The region is ripe for the harvest. And the region New Hope is in hasn't made a dent yet, so we still have a long way to go here as well and the mission that was started must carry on!
So one call led to another and we will be touring both Salt Lake City and Denver next week. We will spend 2-1/2 days in each city and 2-1/2 days praying in the mountains asking God what to do next. Yes or no. Close the door or keep us pursuing.
Reading Scripture, fasting, praying, working out some of the ancient practices gathered and explained for connecting with God that I have been immersing myself in from this BOOK. And as mentioned, going to someplace where you hear God (beach, mountains, skiing for me...where is your sacred space away from the ordinary?) Isn't it supposed to be hard, whips, chains, carry the cross, fast everyday and sit in silence atop poles to head the will of God? Ummmm. No.
We will also have 2 travel days, so this is no short trip.
We will go and hang out and talk with as many people that we can. Churched and un-churched. We will hand in coffee shops, malls, bars, wherever we can find people who will talk. We are goong to try to take in a Nuggets/Pistons game and be around thousands of people and see what we can stir up. Anything to be around people and immerse ourselves in the culture.
As far as open doors go, I believe Satan opens a lot of doors...so I look more to watch God to CLOSE DOORS, because there are open doors everywhere around me! So there is my take on OPEN DOORS.
We will also wait for other calls, requests and e-mails from people to come check out regions and pray on that as well, but we will focus on 1 region at a time, and then narrow it in from there.
It truly feels like the Abraham call in Genesis 22, where God asked Abraham to have radical obedience and sacrifice his son. He told him to go "to the region I will tell you about..." but just set out first, and when you get there, you will know. WOW. We are on that same journey. God always leaves that HUGE element of DEPENDENCE ON HIM as a mark of faith.
So...get with the people, rub shoulders, get into the world unless you are looking to plant a church for the churched people to come to, in that case, go talk to the already convinced.
And then get alone and seek GOD. Then trust HIM to say yes or no, and I promise that a passion will burn within you. It will make your heart race, your blood-pressure rise...and keep you up at night dreaming about the possibilities. You won't be able to stop talking about it.
That's what happened when we came to LOUDONVILLE, our first "region that God told us about." And we trust the same for the next steps.
Pray for us as we leave next week. For GOD to SCREAM to our souls.
And if you have any other suggestions for us to pray about or suggestions in how to better discern the Lord...let me know! We have had Hawaii, Alabama, Phoenix, New York City, and London thrown into our hearts and will certainly pray on everything as we seek HIS will.
Follow me on twitter or facebook as I chronicle our journey...and thanks for shouting out a prayer or 10 for us.
Labels: church planting journey