These two images convey the realities and hopes of our church planting work. The red sign hanging from my “desk” says, “STOP, Dad WORKING.” This is to help the kids know when I am working and unavailable. There are all sorts of exciting aspects to being in Worcester, but one of the challenges is being 45minutes from my offices at the church in Providence. My plan is to spend one long day at the office each week but to work from Worcester otherwise. So until I figure out my regular work places (coffee shops, libraries, parks, preschool waiting room etc) I’m in thecorner of the living room. This is the incredibly mundane and messy side of beginning a new church where boundaries blur and we do our best to make it all work.
This second image comes from India Point which is five minutes from our church in Providence. I would bring my folding chair, books, and other materials so I could work by the water on beautiful days. There is a community boating school nearby and this day they had three sailboats loaded up with school age children involved in some sort of lesson. The funny thing was the complete lack of wind in the bay so the kids are just sitting in the boats. Their expressions seemed to ask, “So is this sailing?” This is another image that helps me understand my work because it points me to the factors beyond my control. I can do my best to get people in the boat, and put up the sails but unless the wind blows we’re just sitting there. In the bible the terminology for spirit is related to wind and breath. So unless God’s wind blow, unless his breath brings life we’ll be sitting in the boat wondering, “Is this church planting?” But when the Holy Spirit moves, and this is our expectation, it is amazing to be in the boat. This is the wild and supernatural side of beginning a new church. We need to keep the mundane and miraculous in mind as God has both in store for us, each with their unique blessings and challenges.