Thursday, April 11, 2013

Launching a church | CHR - 6 Months In

As I sit here this afternoon, I am humbled by the story God continues to write here in Hampton Roads Virginia.  We have just passed the 6 month mark after launching Church at Hampton Roads at the Grassfield High School September 16th of last year.  We have developed an incredible relationship with our school, our city and our community.  God has more than provided for us and CHR is growing.  People's lives are being turned around, marriages are being healed and above all, Jesus is being lifted up.

I want to catalog three specific things that God has taught me personally leading up to CHR's launch as it may help those out there who are dreaming and daring to step out in faith in order to be obedient and do the same thing.   

Number One - NOTHING Is Ours

Psalm 24 says that the earth and everything in it is God's.  Not ours. Don't make the mistake of "owning" ANYTHING.  People are not yours.  The church is not yours.  The money is not yours.  The air you breathe is not yours.  Everything you have, touch, taste and smell is God's and it will ALL go back to Him.  This keeps humility in the picture and allows you to manage all He gives you with integrity, character and excellence.  Also, when you are an owner you have ALL the responsibility.  For everything.  You have to now create the result, not sure about you but I am out on that one. When you stay a "manager", then when the lease is due it is not your problem.  When there are obstacles, it's not your problem. When there are giants and people who are opposing you, guess what, IT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.  It's the owner's, it's God's problem.  I am ALL about the Creator of ALL things fighting for me. The result of this mindset is absolute peace.  Let Him create the story and the result.  After all, history itself is also His.

Number Two - Get Rid Of Entitlement

When we begin to grind or get frustrated, it is normally the sign of entitlement, the "I deserve" mentality.  What are we truly entitled to?  Death and hell.  Eternal separation from God is what we really deserve.  But because God loves us, He provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him.  So when the thoughts of, "I deserve not to have to go through this..." or, "I don't deserve to have to wait this long..." come up or ANY other question that begins with this feeling, remind yourself that the only thing you really deserve is eternal separation from God but because He loved you He paid for your sins and now ALLOWS you the PRIVILEGE of working alongside of Him to reach a lost world....Where there is no "I deserve" mentality or entitlement there is joy.

Number Three - Trust.  God Has To Be The Builder

Your story is different than anyone else's.  Don't try to replicate other's stories.  Don't manipulate people.  Don't manipulate circumstances.  Rest in the fact the Author of the world promised in the Gospels that He would build His Church.  DO NOT COMPARE. You worry about your obedience to God and let God worry about how fast He wants to bless the work of your hands.  Promotion comes from Him ALONE.  Guard your heart, stay humble and realize your duty as a pastor is just to love God and love people, NOTHING else.  You ultimately CAN NOT change a heart, draw a heart or free someone spiritually.  This is something only God can do.  This does not mean be lazy or abdicate any of your responsibilities, it just means realize that Proverbs 21:31 is true, "The warhorse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord."  You do your part to listen, be obedient, manage well and prepare but then sit back and let the result go, that is His problem. Trust Him and His word, He said He WOULD build His Church.

God, we give EVERYTHING to You.  The victories, the battles and absolutely ALL of the glory.  To Your Name ALONE be ALL the praise forever and ever.  We commit to manage well all you have allowed us the privilege of touching.  And we know that as we manage well you favor us and give us more to manage.  Thank you Jesus for Your faithfulness to watch over us and empower us to do what You asked us to do, to reach people (Matt 28:18).