Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It’s been almost three months since my last entry. “Why?” you may ask. I could come up with a bunch of bs kind of answers like, “I’ve been busy,” which is true or, “I’ve been traveling a lot,” which is also true with trips in the last two months to California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Texas but those answers would essentially be a cover up for what’s really going on – I’ve been in a funk.

I’ve been in a funk because this beginning stage of church planting is one of the most difficult stages in the process. This was confirmed by a friend of mine here in the city who planted a church two years ago. We had lunch yesterday and he said, “you are in the hardest part of the process right now.” That was good to hear as it confirmed what I had been feeling but also daunting as I realized this stage is yet to be completed.

What makes this stage of the church planting hard is all the planning and decision making. Where will our church family meet? Who will we target? How will we get to them? Who will be coming with us to launch the effort? How can we get the “mother” church’s fullest backing on this effort? What will it cost to rent a facility? What facility will we rent? Who do I talk to in order to get information about renting facilities? Where will we get tables and chairs? How many small groups do we need to have and where will they be located? What will worship look like? What kind of budget do we need? Are we going to need to raise money for this effort outside the “mother” church’s response? Are we going to have full-time teammates? What kind of teammates do we need? What is the mission? What is the vision? What are our core values? What do we want things to look like after a year of life? five years of life? ten years? …and on and on and on the questions go…

These questions have been bouncing around in my head like rubber balls in a middle school gymnasium dodge-ball class. I usually respond well to stress and to overwhelming situations but this has baffled me and my response (as my lack of journal entries proves) has been to turn off the church planting mode while focusing on other church related work.

Now that we are finished traveling for a while and work settles down a bit I hope to kick back into my role as Church Planting Dude. And the first question that must be answered before we move forward on anything is this:

Is this church plant going to take place Downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn? I bet you didn’t see that coming…me neither. By the way, we moved to Brooklyn. More on that later.

Lord, slow me down and bring me back to the reason why you brought me here. I’m yours. Amen.