All of the way my Savior Leads me…
I remember the moment well. I had just informed my Session that I would be resigning as their Sr. Pastor to become a Boston church-planter for CTK. I had no financial support and no real idea about how to get support, and I was walking away from my job!
Although I had been in ordained ministry for almost 15 years at that point and had learned to lean on the Lord in many areas of ministry, the paycheck aspect was really never an issue of doubt. Now it was. The fear and lack of faith in the Lord’s calling was palpable! I remember thinking, “How on earth does God expect me to be a church planter when I can’t even trust him to provide?” And that’s when it hit me: that is exactly the reason why support raising is part of the call of a church planter—I had to learn to trust in the Lord’s provision from the very beginning.
Learning to trust in the Lord’s provision is not easy. Truly trusting in the Lord to provide was an area of weakness, even after over a decade of being a “professional” Christian. I was so scared, so stressed out, and so full of fear and unbelief! To relieve the stress, I would joke that I was motivated to raise support because I didn’t want to hear five children ask, “Daddy, did you bring home any food today?”
While we still have a long way to go in our funding and in my trusting the Lord, I can write about my foible because His word is true. His grace has been sufficient for me, and I can boast about this weakness because my God’s power has been made perfect in this weakness! In fear and unbelief, I contacted churches, sent proposals, made presentations, followed-up, bothered people, cajoled… and the support came! Some I had to chase down, but much of it simply showed up. Our biggest supporter to date came without a presentation or application but simply from one conversation! We went from nothing on April 1st to moving to Boston in November!
Throughout it all, and to this day, as I continue to do the tasks of a planter, I do so trying to balance fear and faith, unbelief and belief. In those moments when I am given over to fear, I hear Rich Mullins singing Fanny Crosby’s great hymn:
All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
Update on CTK North: Sean has been able to make several connections into Melrose, and beyond, through the library, the YMCA, kids' soccer, and the homeschooling community. The CTK North group has been meeting in homes on Sunday nights and is growing! They already have a separate children's program for the 17 kids in the group, and they are even discussing possible meeting locations in Wakefield. Follow their progress at www.ctknorth.org