When I worked as a new church developer for a United Methodist region a few years back, the one thing I said I would never do would be to try to plant a new church as a parachute drop: as a stranger and alien in a community. In the late 1990s and early 2000s I had helped establish two new faith communities in a place where I had lived and networked for several years. Dozens pitched in to help with both projects, and I lost sleep over neither. Today (a decade later) these two faith communities together gather 1200 in worship on most Sundays.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I was sixteen years old, traveling with my church youth group in the New Mexico mountains: listening to an American missionary talk about his work in Korea. Blah, blah, blah the speaker went on. Calling us to action. It meant nothing to me. But it just so happened, as I zoned out from whatever he was talking about, that the Spirit of God started chattering in my soul. I experienced that night what my faith community confirmed to be a "call to ministry." I had no idea what I was getting into, but the sense of God's calling that began that night, has guided and motivated me now for more than 33 years.