At the time, we thought it was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do. As time progressed, we realized it was THE hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.
All we ever wanted to be was Student Pastors. We led a large youth group. We were bi-vocational, but we never felt underprivileged. We got to see God do some amazing things through us with Youth Ablāz. We saw doors open for us that we never thought would have been possible. We never really thought all that much of ourselves…but all the sudden, we were launched into arenas of Student Ministry that we couldn’t even have dreamed of.
Then, we felt God leading us to let it all go.
We had no idea what He was doing. We thought we were heading to a new Student Ministry opportunity. Maybe, after all this time, we were going to have an opportunity to go full-time, or at least part-time. Certainly all the successes we had realized were leading us to new dimensions of Student Ministry. As a matter of fact, we had opportunities lined up to try out for several churches. Then, God placed something in our spirit that we didn’t expect.
I was preparing to go to Men’s Conference. As I was getting ready to leave, I felt the Lord impress on me that His will for us may be outside of the opportunities we were exploring. At Men’s Conference, while our District Superintendent, Bro. CP Williams, was speaking to the ministers, I heard God speaking loud and clear:
“I want you to plant a church.”
We began praying about several locations. Finally, we settled on a community near where we live. This community is the fastest-growing area of Clay County. There are nearly 20,000 people in this area. There is a hospital going in, which will only bring more growth to the community. The closest Apostolic church for many people in this area is 30-45 minutes away. This past Monday, July 8th, we met our District Board, and were approved.
My wife and I are officially planting a church in Middleburg, FL.
Certainly, there’s an element of nervousness. We’ve never started a church before. We’ve never pastored before. We have no real contacts in the area. We do, however, know for sure this is the will of God. We have the support of our pastors, and we have the support of our home church (we are beginning as a daughter work). There’s not enough time to get into all of the miracles we have already seen since Monday. We strongly believe God is for us, and if He is…who can be against us?
So you may wonder…what about Student Ministry? Student Ministry continues to be a deep passion of ours. We will continue to serve on our District Youth Team as long as the great pastors of Section 3 continue to vote for us. We also will continue to make ourselves available as much as possible to preach youth events and work with local Student Ministries. Even as our focus shifts to planting a church, we hope to continue to bless any students we have the opportunity to serve.
We ask for only one thing from you; we ask for your prayers. We feel the weight of reaching a city that is in darkness. We’re praying for God to open doors and lead us to hungry souls, and would like you to pray the same.
This may be an unexpected journey, but it’s an exciting one. We’re ready to win people to God. We’re going to reach Middleburg, in Jesus’ name!