This series is taken from my personal diary during the first couple of years of church planting. The entries range from painfully raw to joyfully visionary. I hope they bring encouragement to anyone who reads them, especially church planters.
Austin, Texas Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â November 2, 2008
Last week I spoke at the Acts 29 Bootcamp in Dallas. Preparation for the event was good for my soul. I was more nervous than I can recall being in a while. I had to work this fear out in faith and repentance. The Lord had me in 1 Thess 2:4 for a couple weeks, in perfect preparation for this fight:
For just has be have been approved by God and entrusted with the Gospel in this way we speak, no as pleasing men but God who test our hearts.
The fight was to speak from my security in the gospel not for security and approval of my listenesrs and fellow church planters. God was testing my heart days and weeks in advance. I repented from my desire to impress others and clung to Jesus’ forgiveness and strength in the gospel. I plowed on in the Spirit.
The night before my plenary on Spirit-led Ecclesiology, Robie gently corrected me. She showed me that my talk was trying to impress by “going deep” instead of trying to equip by “sharing my struggles.” I wanted to hide behind the approval of intellect instead of minister from a place of vulnerability. Then she sent me out of the house to keep working on the talk. What a wife.
At the coffeeshop I had a good conversation with John, a homeless guy. Father, call John to repentance, transition his life, heal his pain…Robie is such a blessing. Give me more Christlike love for her LORD. Spirit help me to be aware of how I can serve her and let my new heart live.