Session 10: Planning
This session helped us begin to implement all the previous things we had been working on and set key milestones that will help us get done what needs to get done before we plant. It’s both encouraging how much we have already done and discouraging how much there is to do. We’ll try to hold these plans loosely as they will surely change.
Session 11: Priorities
For this final session, anticipation was high. All week we had been told, “Don’t leave early. Make sure you stay for the last session, it’s always the best.” We were not disappointed.
In this session, Dr. Steve Childers (President of GCA) presented his “Eight biggest mistakes…that he can share publicly.” The gist of this session was that personal spiritual renewal and health is far more important than some version of of earthly “success” in church planting. This was a sobering session that caused both Molly and I to really think seriously about what lies ahead. Here are a few of the key takeaways for me:
- I have views of what “success” is and most of them are illegitimate and not based on faithfulness to God’s call.
- Joy comes from who I am in Christ, not what I do for Christ.
- At the root of my frantic propensity to overwork is usually the sin of pride and an exalted sense of my importance in the kingdom of God.
- Goals are things I can influence and control. Desires are things I cannot. Therefore, I should work toward my goals and pray for my desires.
- God’s goal for my life is not merely to serve him, but to know him, love him, trust him, glorify him and enjoy him. God is not a means to another end–he is the goal of everything.
- God loves me. Really. A lot. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
- I need people who don’t just tell me how to live and do ministry better, but also point me to the truth of the gospel.
- I can choose to be content and enjoy life now, or I can put my hope in “I’ll be happy someday when…” and never actually get it.
- I have an amazing wife who needs to be treasured and not sacrificed to the idol of “success.”
As you can tell, this was an impactful session. We’re so thankful to EVBC for sending us to this seminar. We learned a lot and were truly refreshed in many ways. May God be your joy and may you know the power of his amazing love.