“You’re not the right person for this.”
“But seriously, what are you thinking?!?”
These are just a few of the thoughts that were running through my head as I sat in a workshop on how to plant a church. I genuinely never thought that I would ever be sitting in this position. 2017 was an interesting year of navigating the successes and the disappointments of life. Full of some amazing adventures and others that didn’t go the way I necessarily wanted them to. Constant reminders that the path my life has taken isn’t always the one that I’ve so carefully crafted and planned to the last detail.
Since 2014, I have been attending Momentum Christian Church in my hometown of McDonough. I got involved as a life group leader in Moxie (the church’s student ministry) and joined, albeit reluctantly, a small group of people relatively my age. I became a volunteer as an administrative assistant to the student pastor and then became a part-time staff member in the same role. Now, almost four years later, I have found in Momentum a church family, a place to exercise my gifting for the kingdom, a life group that consists of some of my greatest friends, and co-workers who are my family first. It’s all good. I’m good. Nothing needs to change. Until it does.
So when my boss announced at our staff retreat that he would be leaving his position as the student pastor to go and plant a church in Griffin, GA it was completely on brand with the culture Momentum has set from the beginning. To be a place of sending rather than hoarding and being open-handed with those who desire to follow God’s call rather than holding on with an iron tight grip. I didn’t think much of it then and even commented to a friend over lunch that church planting was not something I’d ever really consider doing. It just wasn’t for me.
With that said, I’m not a chaser of the latest and greatest. I prefer the tried and true. Always knowing what to expect as opposed to the great unknown. I have Bilbo Baggins syndrome. I want to go on adventures and I also just want to stay home. It occurred to me on my way to work one morning that I had found the most direct route and rarely ever varied from routine. I was comfortable and in the Christian life that is never a good place to find oneself. God never asked us to separate ourselves but to be set apart.
Before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus told his disciples that they would be his witnesses “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 2:8).” I’ve done ministry in Judea by spending two years as an intern with Global Youth Ministry and in Jerusalem by coming back to my hometown and working for Momentum as both a volunteer and a staff member. Griffin is my Samaria. A place that although it’s only forty-five minutes from where I grew up it is completely unfamiliar and full of people who aren’t like me but need Jesus as much as I do. As I began to ask questions of the Lord, of myself, and of others, someone whose wisdom I trust and value said, “You already know what you’re supposed to do. Now do it!” So with only a few weeks left in December, I said, “I’m in. I’ll be apart of planting a church in Griffin.”
In all honesty, this is really the first decision that I’ve ever made without really knowing all the facts or having a clear idea of what it will look like in the end. And frankly, it’s terrifying not to have all the answers or a guarantee that everything will work out just fine. I don’t know that I’ve necessarily taken a leap of faith; I’ve only ever been able to take the next step. The unknown is not my favorite place to be, but it’s where I have been called to be for right now. What I am certain of is the Gospel and the clarity that comes from the Father as we move forward in obedience.