If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that for the last month I have been meeting with Tim Taylor. I have a previous picture on a previous blog post. We have been trying to determine if we can work together to plant a church in Charlotte. We came to the conclusion that we could, and that we sensed God is at work. We have asked one another hard questions, gone boating together, worshipped and prayed together. Most recently we have developed a VISION STATEMENT, a TIMELINE, DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES for this yet to be planted church.
Now back to yesterday – we met with the church planting committee of our Presbytery (Pastors and Elders from many churches). It was somew
hat strange that we were making this proposal to the committee that I have been on over a decade. We had a thorough discussion about this “Planting Team” concept. The men wanted to make sure that I was emotionally ready after the hard last days at Sandhills Presbyterian. These good men wanted to know how much I had in the tank. I said a lot of things about my calling, vision, stewardship of gifts, experience … but I also said that I there would always be scars to carry. But I have made the spiritual decision to continue to allow my heart to be broken and betrayed. When, as a pastor, you are unwilling to do that, you will inevitably quit getting involved with people. I honestly said that at this point I am about at 65% and moving toward 75%. Tim shared his heart too. In the last year and a half he has been so sick he could not prepared for ordination.
Broken and damaged men are trying to start a church for broken and damaged people – what a concept. Shouldn’t perfect people be starting churches? If that is true, no churches would ever be started. “God uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise …”
The Church Planting committee eventually asked us to leave the room so that they could discuss the proposal. They met for a long time and then asked us back in to tell us what they will present to the full Central Carolina Presbytery July 27th. They want to call
me to be the church planter for the presbytery in the Steele Creek section of Charlotte. Tim will be my asst. and after his ordination in October will be ordained to that po
sition. This was great news! It is not a done deal yet, but this was the major obstacle. The whole presbytery will still have to approve their recommendation.
After the meeting I was driving back to Southern Pines to cut the grass, pick up pinecones and pack another trailer of stuff, when a long time friend from California called to check up on me. Terry and Christie are “friends are friend forever” kind of loved ones. They have only seen one of our kids, Katie, and that was when she was less than 2 years old. I told Terry of the events of the day and he said he wanted to be our first supporters in this Kingdom work. What an encouragement – not just that he is willing to support us, but that he cares for Lynn and I and our kids. Even though he has only seen them in photographs. [By the way he is not a Presbyterian but really loves the Lord. He is still studying and will come around in due time!]
So in some ways I have to wait until Presbytery makes the final decision. But my first task is to raise $150,000 for my salary and ministry expenses to start the church. So if you are a praying person – pray. If you are not a praying person, let’s talk soon!