Hillary and I are sitting in a common area inside Trinity, interviewing with leadership of the church when David Sherwood, the Sr. Pastor of the church, asks me where I am on the spectrum. He says,
Some guys know they are not called to start a new church. That is the last thing they would want to do. This is one end of the spectrum. At the other end are guys who sense that they must start a new church. Leading a church plant is the burning passion of their heart. Jarrett, where do you think you are on that spectrum?
This question drew out an answer I didn’t expect, or even know was within me. Going into this interview, I knew I was not at the “never start a church” end of the spectrum, but I was also fairly certain I wasn’t at the “must start a church” end either. But then I began to explain myself to David, (and to myself)
For a while I’ve looked at church planting as an essential aspect of the church’s mission in this world. Most of the churches I have been involved with have been involved with starting new churches. I see the incredible need for the multiplication of healthy churches and believe that overall Hillary and I are equipped to participate in church planting. I wouldn’t think of myself on the “burning passion” end of the spectrum because I have, God willing, thirty plus years of ministry ahead of me. However, if you were to fast forward to the end of my “career” and I had never been involved in church planting, I would be unfaithful to God’s calling on my life. So, in a sense I am at the “I must start a church” end of the spectrum even, but I don’t know if now is the time.
As I’ve looked back on this conversation there is a verse from the book of Proverbs that comes to mind, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” This conversation, along with a few others, were pivotal in God leading us to this church planting fellowship. Seeing God use so many people to lead us on this path has been both exciting and encouraging.