The past 8 months has flown by. I’ve been serving at The Rock as leader over discipleship. It still humbles me that I get to work alongside such amazing leaders and be a part of something so life changing. It’s been fun and it’s been intense. Operation solid lives is in over 160 churches in the USA, in at least 11 countries, and reaching thousands online. Every week hundreds are being discipled at our church. I serve leaders that are supporting this movement! Every week I receive testimonies of transformation from our church and from around the USA and the world. It’s overwhelming. And we are constantly working to strengthen and expand; we have lots of projects to reach a dozen more nations waiting for OSL, to prepare OSL for translation, to expand our reach online, and more. What’s our biggest need? Leadership! Just like Jesus instructed: pray for laborers.
I’ve been doing a lot of leadership and project management. I’m learning a ton from the leaders of the Rock. I have the privilege of teaching OSL a couple times a week. I’ve seen many receive Jesus, receive physical healing and deliverance. I’ve also had the privilege of preaching a few times at some of our other congregations of the The Rock (there are 13 to date; St. Louis may be #14) and another church. One of my joys is hanging out with some young men who are called to pastor and teach; I’ve been giving the tiny bit I have. Michele is serving with young adults, homeschooling, retaking OSL, preparing our homes to sell, and putting up with me. God is preparing her heart for a great work in St. Louis as well.
It does feel strange to live “in between”–I let go of pastoring newcommunity (at Jesus’ direction) so that I could start the process of planting churches in St. Louis. A church planting truth: it always takes longer than we expect. I was aware of this before the process began. The past 8 months I have enjoyed serving and learning at the Rock. I also deeply miss the people of newcommunity. I pray often for newcommunity, The Rock, and St. Louis. I am grateful for the new pastors, Barry and Meagan Mulock, and excited to see Jesus continue to build his church through their leadership in Glendora.
I love this season and yet I know it is an “in between” phase. I feel like a stone in a sling shot being pulled back. God is going to do great things St. Louis; he is going to launch us out. First, the sone has to be pulled back in the sling; first, we prepare. The obvious: learning the culture of the The Rock, building relationships with people, doing research, and praying. The deeper: increasing in evangelistic anointing, growing in leadership skills, and strengthening our family.
It reminds me of how Barnabas brought Paul (previously called Saul) to a church in Antioch for a year before they were sent to plant churches. Paul was called to plant churches through out the world when he was first saved but he did not get started for many years. It seems this year in Antioch was a major preparation phase.
Acts 11:25-26 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Acts 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
What’s next? Our plan is to begin team meetings this September and visit St. Louis in the Fall. We are praying God will draw people to be on our team. We don’t have a move date or a launch date yet but I believe we will know this Fall. Likely 2016 will be a year of moving, building a launch team, reaching people, and launching services. As plans develop, we will keep you up to date.
Please pray for us and for the people of St. Louis. God loves that city and has a destiny for that city.