Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Partners in Planting

Sowing the Seed…Laying up Treasures…!

In 2004 I was a Sales Manager for a small upstart mortgage broker firm. I was responsible for hiring, training, and managing a sales staff of loan officers. One responsibility of our loan officers was to accompany their client to the escrow office for the closing of the mortgage loan process.

Our company required me or the branch manager to accompany new loan officers in training to the escrow signing to assist them in this final stage of the loan process and to help them through any questions or challenges that might come up.

In mid 2004 I had the occasion to accompany one of my loan officers to an escrow signing in a small community 50 some miles north of Vancouver (WA) where I had been living and working for over five years. The signing went well; the client signed the final papers to move into a house they purchased and our loan officer received her first “check” for services rendered.

However, that drive to this small community changed my life forever. We drove to a community 50 miles north, and then 8 miles west, off of Interstate 5. It has a population of some 35,000 people and is largely dependent upon the paper and wood mills for its survival. In April as a part of the A-Z Challenge I blogged on our community under the letter “L.” I invite you to revisit that post and learn about this wonderful city.

What changed my life? I saw a community of 35,000 with a neighboring sister city of 12,000 (Kelso) and several smaller surrounding communities that needed the light of the gospel. Longview has been longed despised as a community. It has been classified as a backwards, redneck, non-cultured town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It also has a huge meth problem. In other words, my heart was provoked in the same manner as the Apostle Paul’s heart when he found himself alone in the city of Athens and saw the idolatry and spiritual darkness of that city. Read the account of Paul and his “provoked spirit” in Acts 17:10-32)

In February of 2005 I could no longer take the pulling of my heart towards Longview, WA. My wife and I moved to a small home in the west end of Longview. Here, I intended on planting a new church to meet the spiritual needs of the people in this community and county. The Lord had other ideas at this point. He directed us to a wonderful church fellowship where I had the opportunity of being mentored and taught by a wonderful man some things that I needed to know. After two years, God moved us to our present place of service, where I have been learning, growing even more in pastoral leadership, preaching and teaching. Many of you are aware for almost three years I have been teaching the Adult Bible Class called the Sojourners. (To be continued…)

(This is the first installment in the Partners in Planting series that will be posted each Monday. Join this new series as I share with you and enlist you as partners in the process of planting a new church in this community giving you the opportunity of laying up treasures in heaven as you, from your location, Sow the Seed in Longview, WA)

9 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Good Morning Brother Gregg

I look forward to following your
Partners in Planting series.

Ron

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

What a wonderful write,I shall look forward to Mondays,

Take care.
Yvonne.

RCUBEs said...

What an awesome beginning! The way the Lord took you to that place. And I know the Gardener is with you all the way. Blessings.

Jaime Kubik said...

You got my interest peaked in this story....I will stay tuned for more! It's amazing how God leads us,isn't it?

JT said...

This is a good post. I look forward to reading more. May God Bless You.

Gregg said...

Ron - good morning to you brother! Thanks for dropping by. I hope you will become a Partner in Planting by stopping by and reading this adventure and by praying fervently and specifically for this new work.

Yvonne - thank you for your compliment, I value your opinion and believe you do'n't offer it frivously. I shall look forward to you dropping by each Monday.

RCUBEs - thanks for your kind words! It is an awesome beginning by our God. I trust the "Gardner", the one who gives the increase is in fact with me. I fear at times I step out before Him.

Jamie Kubick - hope I got you hooked! If you are you'll be back. Hard to get anyone hooked on one episdoe, however, Boston Legal hooked me with just one episode.

Yes it is amazing how God leads. It is both exciting and excruciating.

JT - thnks for your comment. I hope you do drop by for more.

All of you, I want to make my partner in this adventure through your fervent prayers!

God bless each of you! You have all found a place in my heart.

Lynda Young said...

It's 'funny' how we think we know God's plan and he directs us elsewhere and to something we would never have imagined.

Loren said...

What a wonderful series! I look forward to hearing "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say :)

It is so intriguing so see how we act in one manner and the LORD leads in another way all together :) LOVE it when HE does that!

Looking forward to next week!

Gregg said...

Lynda Young - it can be funny, I guess, and I don't mean to imply that it isn't funny either. the evangelical church as a whole has a very convaluted understanding of what the Lord's will is. We make decisions, plans, etc., submit to God's sovereign will by saying and meaning Lord willing and He will dreict our paths. We spend far to much time angonizing over a decision looking for signs or fleeces when we just need to make a decision that is in keeping with our background, personality, education, experience, likes, dis-likes, etc. always acknowledging God and He will guide our paths.

By the way the shortest distance between two points in God's plans is a zig-zag. God may take us 40 years zig-zagging in the wilderness to prepare us for a single task. Don't you love God?

Oh, by the way, even though God let's us make decisions that we want or like, they still must be in line with his character and word.

Loren - thanks for stopping by. I am glad you hear the rest of the story. I hope there is a story. I hope the Lord lets me get the church off the ground. We shal see. I am excited about what is up ahead.