I'm almost totally exhausted right now. Although I've gotta leave in a little bit for my niece's 4th birthday party, which should be a good time.
Let me give a run-down of the last 36 hours or so. I woke up on Saturday morning, all ready to finish working on the message I'd prepared for today. But before doing that, I spent some time in prayer. In the middle of the prayer, I started taking a serious look at the challenges that face our church as we prepare for our move to Pioneer Ridge Middle School and I began to panic. We're about to take a leap out into the unknown and instead of looking out into the future, I began looking down. I began worrying about the challenges we face as we move to PRMS. Now, I know fear isn't from God but it wasn't going away. So, I called a good friend, Dale, with whom I went to college and is a bit ahead of me on the church-planting journey. Dale talked me away from the cliff and talked me through some steps we can take to prepare for the future.
In the midst of this prayer time, I sensed God telling me to change things up for the message on Sunday, in a big way. I've NEVER before had this happen to me, but I sensed God asking me to completely change what I was going to say. I'm a meticulous planner, especially when it comes to preaching, so this really freaked me out.
From my conversation with Dale, I knew I needed to talk through call of Abraham. So, I read through the first part of Genesis 12 and then made some notes. As I went to open my computer, though, I sensed God telling me "no." So, I thought maybe I should spend some more time reading the passage. When I started to prepare the message again, I sensed "no" even stronger this time. I sensed God telling me not to prepare and to rather spend that time in prayer. So, I prayed for about 3 hours yesterday. I walked around the house, lied out flat on the floor in my office and even biked around PRMS; all the while praying about this morning and about our church's future.
When I woke up this morning, I understood the reason for not preparing any notes. Just as our church is about to step out into the unknown of a new facility, so God was calling me to step out into the unknown of an under-prepared Sunday message. I kept hearing, "I'll catch you, just trust me and jump."
So, as soon as the announcements were over, I 'jumped' into the unknown of a message I'd never practiced and just that morning written down a few quick notes. This stuff has been burning inside of me for so long that it just came out. I thought maybe I'd just sit down after 5 minutes, but I actually spoke for over 1/2 hour. Wow, don't know what to make of that...
The one part I want to share, you can listen to the rest (minus the beginning) here, are the challenges we're facing with this move. We could remain complacent; nice and comfy here in Madison Elementary. But I believe God has bigger things in store for this church. If we're going to live into what God has for us, then we need to turn these challenges into opportunities for growth.
I'm going to spend the next two days out the office. I'll be alone with my bible, a notebook and maybe a book to spur my thinking; praying and fasting (I hate fasting) as I seek God for a vision for our church's future.
Please be praying for me these next two days. Our newly assembled Point Team is also in this journey. We discussed some of this today and will be meeting next Sunday so I can share whatever God says to me over the next two days.