Part 8 of a Blog Series Called “How Did We Get Here?” (click here to go to the beginning), the Story of How I was Called to Start Life Mission Church and What Got Us to Where We are Today.
There are some conversations that you have that you know will dramatically change your life. For some, it’s telling someone, “I like you…but more than just in a ‘friend’ way.” For others, it’s “honey, I lost my job today.” For me, it was trying to figure out how to have my life-changing conversation with my older brother. Keep in mind, this is the guy who I’d known for 32 years at the time, whose house I got saved in, who I’d been in ministry for 13 years with, who I helped start a church with in our house 10 years before, and who I’d been a right-hand man for all of those years. How would I be able to sit down and tell him, “I think God might be leading me to lead a church”?
That didn’t sound like fun.
Nonetheless, the pressure was building inside me. Up to this point, only Katie knew of what I had been wrestling with in my mind. I’d decided early on that I wanted Jeremy to be the second person, I just didn’t know when or how.
Finally, one day after a staff meeting, a few of us guys went to grab some lunch and had some “guy time” talking about some of the things that we’d been wrestling with in life. I volunteered a veiled description of what had been going on in my heart, simply stating that I’d been thinking a lot about how God could be most glorified in my life. It didn’t really go anywhere, I kept it vague on purpose, but the cat was trying to claw its way out of the bag.
That night, Jeremy called me. He asked me what, exactly, I was alluding to. It felt so incredibly similar to the first (and only) time I went bungee jumping (which was with Jeremy, incidentally). I remember being up in the crane, stepping up to the ledge, looking over, and thinking “this is a perfectly fine crane I’m about to jump out of.”
And on the phone that night, as I contemplated, “should I say it,” I thought to myself, “this is a perfectly good life I’m jumping out of.” But, I knew it had to be done, so I jumped.
No, I didn’t say “I think God might be leading me to plant a church.” Nor did I say, “I think God might be wanting me to plant a church.”
I couldn’t utter the words “plant” or even “church.” It was all just so new, so scary, so…not for me.
But instead I said, “I’m not totally sure…but the last few months I’ve been wrestling with the idea that God may want me to lead a people.”
That worked for me. It’s all I could muster up. ‘Lead a people.’ That sounds nice.
Of course, that was a little too enigmatic, and I had to clarify for him. And looking back, I just laugh at how I must have sounded, fumbling through my words and thoughts. I told him clearly, though, that I wasn’t sure if God was doing this in me for real, and that I still didn’t know definitively, but that I was just in a place of confusion and struggle, and that I needed help figuring it out.
To my amazement, within about 10 minutes, he was planning on how we could do it. He was talking about Oceanside, Escondido, or somewhere else; we talked about time frame and how it might have a different “flavor” since the two of us are different in our personalities and approach. I have to admit, I was getting pretty fired up myself, but then I realized, “wait a minute, I don’t even know if this is what I’m supposed to do!”
So, we both came back down to earth as the conversation went back to “how can I figure out if these is really the Lord?” His advice he gave me, the next day at lunch, was to start seeking out counsel and getting prayer from others that I could trust.
And it was at this point where everything started getting strange for me.
What is a time in your life where you had to make a life-changing decision? What was the outcome, and how do you see it now looking back?
The Emperor Has Clothes: Everyone seemed to know something about me…except me.