I don’t know how many times I’ve written and deleted this post, or versions of this post–maybe 10 or 20 times. Every time I get the words out I feel the pros and cons lists growing in my head about whether these words are too truthful or foolish and I go back to word-smithing and tweaking sentences and phrases.
As many people who pay attention to this blog know that I write mostly about student ministry and how to equip parents to help their students own their own faith. Well, that will be changing. I’m still very passionate about people owning their faith and even teaching people how to teach others, but after 3 years at CenterPointe God has shut the door on that ministry and is preparing something new.
The reason I’ve written this post so many times is because I’m not sure what to share or even if what I share makes any sense at all. Do I share the whole story in one post? Do I share the journey Ruth and I have been on over many posts? Because we still aren’t sure what’s exactly next, should I wait to post anything at all?
Maybe, it’s time to stop thinking and still share even with many unknowns. So here it goes as of March 15, 2016.
The past 6-plus months have been a whirlwind. Since mid-August 2015 my wife and I felt God leading us in a new direction. We were unsure where this direction was taking us; the thought was most likely church planting, but maybe to an unknown opportunity. Based on wise counsel, assessment and a few trips, it seemed that direction was going to be church planting, so we have passionately pursued that option. Church planting seemed to be the logical conclusion, mainly, because why would a 24 year old with a wife and 2 kids leave a secure job and a thriving student ministry to step into the unknown if it wasn’t church planting? For sure, God had convincingly shown us it was time to depart from Lexington, KY to lead and learn somewhere else. I am and will forever be incredibly thankful for the people and leadership at CenterPointe and for the time God had us in Lexington.
In answering the question earlier, the short answer to why we left is because God said so. I hope to unpack what God has shown us and how we are arriving at what’s next, with God’s timing, in later posts soon.
The answer and reasoning to why we left seems so strange to many, not all, but many. It seemed strange to set an end date at a ministry when they next step wasn’t clear (the end date was Dec 13, 2015). As I’ve shared our story, it has dawned on me that the norm for some has become to only take a step to what’s next when the step is clearly laid out for them. I’ve faced this battle in my own life. I’ve been conditioned by my training for when I hear others say “because God said so” a red flag gets sent off and to be cautious–be skeptical. But, as I’ve walked this path for a few months now I can say that God dependence is a truly daunting endeavor in a “churched culture.” When a path does not seem logical or clear, direction from God drives fear and skepticism into the hearts of those who feel they could never do the same thing. Often, God reminds me that it’s easy to read stories in the bible of God dependence as fairy tales that happened in some parallel universe, or as epics in a galaxy far far away.
However, when it comes down to it, doesn’t God want us to be totally dependent on Him? What does that look like day-in and day-out?
If we don’t value (show fruit of it in our own life in accordance with His Word) God dependence then the antithesis is self-dependence and from my reading of the Bible that’s called sin.
Within the whirlwind of discovering where God is preparing for us, it’s been exhilarating and a little frustrating to take God at His word and to just take the next step He shows us. I am thankful for the support and encouragement we have received as we take one step at a time. Ruth and I are also thankful for those who disagree or pose questions about the decision because God uses you to strengthen our convictions, while also using you to teach us.
All I know is that God has us right where He wants us and we will continue to take the next step. Pray that we continue to abide in Him, so that much fruit grows for His glory. I’m excited to see how God continues to draw us closer to himself as He shows us what He is doing across the globe.
Thank you again to those who have encouraged and supported us in prayer or provision while we have been on this journey!