I have been contemplating for the last couple of years to return to pastoral ministries. I have been mulling over for the last couple of years whether or not to plant a new church, and where to plant this new church or to seek an existing church in need of a Teaching Pastor.
What has made this decision difficult is three things:
1. My gift is Teaching, supported by administration. I am a teacher. I am committed to evangelism but do not consider myself to be gifted as an evangelist. I feel it will be difficult for a Teacher to plant a work vs an evangelist. However, I am committed to the fact that one plants, one waters, but it is our Sovereign God who gives the increase of His choosing. So, it is not me nor any evangelist who "builds" the church - it is God. To Him be the glory forever and ever!
2. I have no "organizational" backing. I was unable to continue as a member of the IFCA due to my commitment to the Doctrines of Grace. The last year that I was a member, the doctrinal statement, which had to be both subscribed to and signed each year, contained a prohibition against holding a position of limited atonement. Since I believe the cross was limited to those whom God determined to redeem I could not subscribe to nor sign the doctrinal statement. Since leaving the IFCA I have fellowshipped with "independent" churches. So, I would be planting a new work without the backing, support, or even prayers of an "organization."
3. I have made the commitment to begin with people whom God has specifically supplied and not "stolen" sheep from existing fellowships or by collecting disgruntled church hoppers with a consumer mind set. As a result I have waited for someone to come along who shared my similar convictions and beliefs.
I have made the decision to plant the Christ Community Church in Longview, WA. I recognize that man proposes, Proverbs 16:33 "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." I also know that I can make decisions, and have, that have been by my own desire rather than actually having come from the Lord. So, I have decided to make a decision and then pray for the next two weeks, along with periods of secret fasting in order to see if this decision is from the Lord or from merely myself. I ask you to join me in concentrated and regular prayer for the next two weeks for either confirmation or non-conformation concerning my decision.
I believe as I make a decision that God will either give me peace or unrest, open the doors or close doors, lead further into this decision or lead me away from this decision and towards His will. I rest in Psalms 37:4 that if I meditate on the Word, and seek God with my whole heart, that He will give to me His desires in my heart and that my desires will be His desires for His glory.
Will you pray with me and I trust that as September 25th rolls around that God has clearly revealed His will one way or the other?