When I was in Bible College there was a well-believed legend that if you said something out loud that you didn’t want to do, that was the very thing that God would have you do. We even had a song called, “Please don’t send me to Africa…” It was pretty funny, but no one actually wanted to sing it for fear that God would take them seriously and ship them out on the next boat.
I fully intended to work the system. My strategy was not to say anything that I wouldn’t do and tell God I would do anything for Him. On the flip side, I would think in my head, “Oh God, don’t make me start a church.” I would even sit at our Network Conferences and pity the poor souls who were in the ranks of the church planters.
So, I settled in nicely during our tenure as youth pastors at some of the larger churches. Our youth ministries were larger that most of the church plants, so you can imagine that I had no concept about why anybody would dare to start from scratch. It was my secret horror in my heart that God might actually send us to plant a church someday.
So, apparently, the Bible college legend is true. After over a decade safely tucked into youth ministry, God began to stir in our hearts about church planting. We drove straight up to the Network Office to talk to our superintendent about the possibilities of senior pastoring an existing church. I thought for sure he was my escape out of this journey, but since he knew us well, he was quick to suggest we dig deeper into the church planting agenda. Fine. How can you argue with God and your superintendent?
So, the irony began. And here is the great news for all of you who are fearing that God is asking you to do something you don’t think you want to do -the one and only thing that I didn’t have on my wish list is the very thing that I am loving every minute of just ten years later… I’m thinking that God loves the ironic things in the world because the Bible is riddled with them…”the last shall be first and the first shall be last”…what’s up with that? It’s backwards! And so often that’s case with my life. And I am thankful that I serve a God who know’s me better than I know myself.