In January, I asked a group of men to pray with me for clear discernment from God about my life, my family, and the next ministry step. I am so thankful for those men! They lifted me up through that decision. Larry Barker, Jacob Guenrich, Clif Johnson, Keith Lewis, Scott Pittman, and Darrell Spigner were faithful to pray with us! After some time, I felt like God had not pinpointed His direction for me yet. I was desperate to know! I text all the men one particular morning and asked them to pray that day for leadership.
After praying that day a while myself, God directed my heart to the book of Colossians. It is not every day that God meets with you in such a personal way but He did that day. I indeed had a life defining “God moment”. Having read through the first portion of the book. God ignited my heart with two things!
- He reminded me WHO HE WAS! The Eternal One! Creator! Sovereign! Sustainer! HEAD OF THE CHURCH! Resurrected Lord! My mind and heart was affixed upon Him in such a way that all anxiety was gone as to where I was in life! Peace came to me clearly as I rested in great truths regarding His person! Joy filled my heart with the shear knowledge that regardless of my circumstances He was in total control. It was clear what He was saying to me… I AM THE LORD! In a clear and fresh way, I knew that in all of the things that had transpired He was directing it all!
- He called me to get back to work! Not that I had done nothing in ministry, but for a little over a year God had given me a sabbatical. It was much needed and prearranged by the Lord Himself. After 22 years in ministry I had become weary and cynical. I am thankful that God allowed me to refresh myself and rest. In that time off, He gave me valuable time with my family and helped me see things from a different perspective. I am even now thankful. Yet in this moment God spoke clearly… “It’s time to get going! It’s time to TOIL!!! The work is at hand and you must lay your hand back to the plough!”
In my time before the Lord that day, as the “Head of the body, the church” He made it clear that He desired to plant a new church. The Holy Spirit was specific in this matter. I had hesitated going forward with this for over 8 months fearing how it would be received and perceived. I tried to find other ministry outlets as well. Yet in that moment, the Head of the Church gave a directive that I had to say “yes” to. He made it clear that I was not to worry about any human perception but to obey His directive. Having met with me so powerfully it was easy to say “Yes, Lord”! Honestly I didn’t have all the answers to the questions that were surfacing in my mind, but I knew the Lord would answer them in His time, His way and work all matters out. Obedience is not an option with the Lord.
He also made it clear that the nature of this church was to follow the pattern of Colossians 1: 28, 29. It seems crazy to say that He reminded me that the church exists for two reasons. Yet HE did! 1. Proclaiming the gospel of Christ, the good news of redemption and forgiveness to people everywhere! 2. Discipling and maturing believers in their relationship with Him to the point that they too begin reaching and discipling others in their life. Further, it would be done by the empowering of the Spirit of God! I wouldn’t “toil” in the power of the flesh but with the dynamic of the Spirit in and through my life. The church would not function properly or produce fruit in any other way!
So now, it is my quest, my purpose, my calling to do exactly this! It will be our CENTRAL focus to reach an unreached people here in this county. There are so many here that do not really have a relationship with Him! They need to personally experience Him! I pray now every day for fruit, more fruit and much fruit to the Kingdom through Central! I pray that God will open doors to individuals and families who simply do not know Him! It is my duty in this matter to make sure that the churches CENTRAL purpose is to intentionally and aggressively disciple people. In our county too many only have a surface commitment to Christ. Our time calls for much more, true disciples living for Him daily in the fabric of this county! It will only come through daily dependence upon the power of the Spirit of God as we TOIL in this field of labor!
This is our purpose, it is our only desire! I am not and we will not be a competitor to other churches in the county. We want to be a co-laborer with other churches in this field. Jointly, I want us all to work together to reach the magnitude of this field around us! I want us to stand before God one day able to say – in our generation – in this field; “HIM WE PROCLAIMED”! We labored and toiled by the power of the Spirit in order to “PRESENT EVERYONE MATURE IN CHRIST”.
It’s Time to Toil!!!!!
Colossians 1: 28, 29