As the ball drops in Times Square at the beginning of each new year, the same thought runs through my mind, “I wonder what will happen this year.” I have to be honest, the adventurous side of me enjoys the uncertainty that a new year brings. However, as I grow older, there are certain hesitations about the unknown. For instance, there are people who are a part of my life now that will not be when 2009 draws to a close. It may be due to death, someone moving away, or relationships that crumble. On the other hand, new and exciting opportunities await!
At the beginning of 2008, we had no idea that we would be planting a church. Suzanne and I knew a change was probably coming, but we assumed it would be moving on to another church, likely in another state. One of the negatives about church ministry is that there is no “ladder” to climb. You don’t move up from being a salesperson to being the sales manager. Unfortunately, it usually means relocation and saying goodbye to friends and often to family members. Amazingly, we found that God’s next assignment for us is still in this general area, so we didn’t have to say goodbye and move across the country as we’ve done two previous times. We did, however, still have to say goodbye to people we’ve spent every week with for the past 7 1/2 years.
Now, at the beginning of 2009, I have the same question, “I wonder what will happen this year.” Of course God may have other plans, but from my vantage point, when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, 2009, here are some of the things I pray will have happened in 2009:
- browns mill church begins holding gatherings, first monthly on Easter Sunday, April 12, and then weekly on Sunday, September 13
- browns mill church sees early success in helping people to live like Jesus and lead others to do the same evidenced by a thriving community of people refusing to just “do church” on the weekend but committed to “be the Church” throughout the week
- browns mill church sees many people who have been disconnected from God embrace a lifelong journey of becoming like Jesus
- Suzanne and I have established meaningful and lasting community with our neighbors (this will happen whether or not God opens the door for us to relocate to Newnan)
- Tim Coleman and I have gone through church planting training with Missio
- Tim Coleman and I have set up the Southeast regional hub of Missio to train church planters across the southeast
- I have grown immensely in my relationship with Jesus and in my leadership capacity for His glory
- Ultimate Leader, the non-profit entity I have been working for since January, has been fully funded for both 2009 and 2010 with several successful pilot programs completed and ready to ramp it up for 2010
- Suzanne and I have grown in our love for each other and in our love for Jesus having experienced an incredible faith-building year of God using us for His glory and meeting our needs
- My kids grow in their understanding of what it means to live like Jesus in their every day lives and grow more loving toward each other and toward other people
- I have spent significant time nurturing my relationship with each one of my children–they’re growing up too fast!
I could go on, but we’re already on day 5 of 2009 and I have a lot to accomplish!