Technically?……No. At least not yet. But I am sure there have been friends and family that may have thought so in light of recent choices we have made and I get it….I really do. On paper….it just doesn’t add up. We left our home…West Tennessee…where we were both born and raised. Thirty something years of memories, good times, friends and family. We left our stuff… we had a good, comfortable, cozy place to call home…and after 10yrs of marriage we had accumulated quite a few possessions….some of which we have parted ways with. We left our jobs…Angela had a great position as a teacher and could have spent a career there. I was pastoring a great church full of great people…where we were really loved on and we could have spent our lifetimes ministering. Why in the world would we want to leave any of that behind and move to a city where we knew a handful of people, had no real job prospects and uncertain living arrangements? Good question. Don’t think for a minute that it was easy for us. Before we came to the decision…we spent almost a year searching and praying….quite a few tears were shed and God had to really do a work in our lives to bring us to the point of leaving. The only thing we knew…is that we had been given a “holy discontentment” that would not go away…and God had placed a burden on us to plant a church. I remember the first time I said to Angela that I was beginning to think God wanted us to start a church. If I remember correctly…she said something like “Yeah right!”. Which was my first response as well…I thought church planters were crazy…since at that time I only knew one (Byron James….and he is certifiably insane….love ya bro). But after months of praying and pleading with God….I remember vividly Angela’s response to the idea of church planting…I remember exactly where we were when he response was “Ok. Let’s do it!”. It was a mixture of excitement and fear! Which I am beginning to refer to as “The Church Planter’s Diet”. So…yeah…none of this makes sense…”on paper”. But let me tell you what does make sense to me. When God reached down and saved us…He called us to Himself and He called us to His mission. His mission isn’t about being comfortable, it has nothing to do with accumulating wealth, little to do with climbing a career ladder and bears no resemblance to living the American dream. His mission is simple….to Go. (Matt. 28:19). We are a part of something bigger than ourselves….a mission that is greater than our own plans, feeble wishes and desires. It is the movement of God’s kingdom! It is a grand plan to bring glory to God through the transformation of lives through the proclamation of the gospel. All Christians play a part. We have been given our script. We know our part. It is to plant The Bridge Church of Evansville. God has designs and plans for this church plant…and we were created for this. This is why we even exist. To bring Christ glory as church planters. Yes…the road will be hard…and there will be (and has been) a great deal of suffering. But it already has been and will continue to be…worth it. As Paul says….”For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” Rom. 8:18. We are willing to endure all things that may come our way…for the sake of His cause. God has (somewhat painfully I might add) pulled us away from our attachment to material things….we no longer have any real desires or aspirations to be “well off”. It was (still is) painful to be seperated from our families and close friends….but it has been necessary as we have learned to trust solely and more fully on Christ at this time in our lives. We love our family (always will)….but we love God all the more. We could spend our lives living close to the tree trunk of security so to speak…but we prefer and have chosen to live out on the limb…for that is where the fruit may be found. The scriptures are quite plain in saying that without faith…it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6). We want to live that…we want experience the deepness of God….the deepness of His mercy and grace and we want to leave that legacy for our children. We want our kids to trust in God…not because we told them…but because we showed them what it means. It all boils down to this….life is too short and too precious to live it for just ourselves. It should be lived and poured out for God….and for others. May that be what others see in our lives…and to God be the glory! Does this make us crazy?…Maybe so. It may make some people feel better to see us that way. But maybe it makes us normal? =) Maybe its crazy to just live your life for things that don’t matter…gathering things that won’t last.
Soli Deo Gloria,
All men die….but not all men really live.