When I was a kid my family would pack up the car and drive to Florida every couple of years. It was always an adventure. I was about five years old when the trip included a visit to Disney World. When I was about twelve years old, my dad installed a seat in the bed of his truck, protected by the topper, and my brother and I rode the whole way bouncing around in the bed of the truck, surrounded by luggage. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. We were always excited when it was time to take another road trip.
I’ve discovered that church planting is a whole lot like taking a road trip. You see, when I was a kid, I knew what our final destination was, but I didn’t know the exact roads we’d take to get there. I was never responsible for driving the car, I didn’t know which gas stations we’d stop at, which restaurants we’d eat in or which hotels we’d stay in along the way. I didn’t even have to save up any money to pay for the trip. My role wasn’t passive by any means. I had the responsibility of packing my bag – a few dozen books, my stuffed ALF, a toothbrush, and a few clothes if I had any room left – getting in the car at the right time, and participating in the journey. But Dad took care of the rest.
He mapped out the route we’d take. He watched the gas gauge and stopped at the right gas station before our tank got too low. He paid attention to when we’d be hungry or need to stop for a break, and he’d make sure our every need was taken care of. He even selected a few surprise roadside attractions to stop at, just to watch us stare in awe at a giant rocket or “oooh” and “aaaah” as we explored a cave. These attractions were a surprise to us, but not to Dad.
The same appears to be true of church planting. As church planters, we know what our final destination is – the launch of Acts2 Community Church. But sometimes we’re still surprised by the details of the journey. God isn’t. When he placed this passion in Jason’s heart over 20 years ago, He knew that the vision for planting churches would lead us to an unlikely venue. He even placed Jason in that venue twelve years ago to begin laying the groundwork for our ministry. He brought the two of us together and the right time. He placed us in the right home on the right street in the township of Saginaw at just the right time. He placed me in ministries over the years that seemed disjointed and sometimes meaningless, all to prepare me for the call of church planting that I never knew was mine.
I’m a details person. With less than 6 months until our launch date, I’m struggling with not having control over every detail of the church planting, with having to wait for certain pieces to fall into place before we can move to the next step and tackle the next goal. I want to take the wheel.
But I’m not the one mapping out the route. Our Father is. My responsibility is to pack my bags, get in the car, and participate in the journey and trust my Father to know the route and all the stops along the way. And whether you’re praying for Acts2 Community Church, donating to the ministry, or joining our launch team, I just want to say: Welcome to the Road Trip. We’re happy to have you on board.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”