Church Planting, Lawn Mowing & Academics ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, July 23, 2007

Church Planting, Lawn Mowing & Academics

When I come home from work these days, all I feel like doing is lying on the carpet groaning, drinking cold beer, playing with Aidan and smiling weakly at my girl. I know what you're thinking right now: That doesn't sound very productive. You are thinking that this fact has had an effect on my intention to do some strategic reading and research this summer. And you're right.

About a year ago, I read Mark Driscoll's Confessions of a Reformission Rev. and found myself being pulled gravitationally toward church planting. Attending the 2006 Desiring God conference with some friends and reading another Driscoll book, The Radical Reformission, increased my suspicion that church planting was something Lindsay and I should pursue.

Since then, God has run me into some experienced people who have begun helping me fill in my vacuum of knowledge about how churches are born. There was even a promising connection with CP veteran Darrin Patrick that yielded a few weeks of adrenalin before the hype expired. Because of this, or despite this, depending how you see it, I'm looking forward to this fall back at school.

With a couple semesters left, I'm going to try and do a difficult thing, and switch my "Master of Divinity" major to a North American Church Planting emphasis. This will require a lot of schedule-juggling and some independent studies, and I'm not sure exactly how it will work out. However, I want to give it a shot, Lindsay has enough faith to give me the go-ahead, and we're trusting that God will continue to educate me and lead us this fall.

As hinted in the first paragraph, I had ambitious plans for this summer, as far as reading and research went. Things have been scaled back quite a bit, but I've been making my way slowly through Ed Stetzer's Breaking the Missional Code (mostly on weekends). Also, Lindsay and I've visited a couple of local church plants and are planning to visit a couple more. I'm soaking in some lectures on the iPod as well. Realistically, though, serious learning (and planning?) will have to wait for the fall.

Lately, I've been in the position of wanting to advance my pawn on the Church Planting board, but being incapacitated by, well, heat exhaustion. I guess part of the reason I'm writing this post, other than to beg my friends to pray for us, is to self-medicate a little. Essentially, I'm saying to myself: Stop beating yourself up because you're too worn out to study hard or make ingenious plans. If you're going to get in this game, it will be because God makes it happen.

So that's that.

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Jamie said...

As tired as you sound, I'm surprised you manage to keep up with blogging as much you as you. I think I'd have failed long ago...

Ariel said...

Ah, but blogging is therapeutic, don't you know? You can either lie on the futon groaning for half an hour, make a margarita, or write a quick post--the effects are roughly the same. ;) Thanks for the encouragement.

Oneway the Herald said...

Keep on keepin on, broseph. I suspect your experience this summer will give you greater insight into an ignored segment of the population: the blue-collar man. A hard day's work, dinner with your wife, wrestling with your son, a cold beer--that's a good life.

The Nehemiah Project, huh? That is thrilling.

Ariel said...

Thanks, Oneway. I like the perspective. I think Proverbs would endorse it too.

The Nehemiah Project is on the horizon, possibly with some Acts 29 up in there...we will see. You looking into this church planting thing?

revolution said...

just take it as it comes, man. no need to push it. let it come in God's time. It will. I can definately identify with your post.


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