Monday, May 23, 2011

The open door

It is hard to describe how helpful 'The urban church plant manual' has been to me in this season. This is Keller describing the emotions of his call to plant a church but I think it well incapsulates the emotions of many who start any new ministry or venture for the glory of God:

"A great darkness descended on me, because I knew I had no good reason not to take this ministry, but I felt totally inadequate for the job. I know that everyone feels inadequate for any ministry, but this was different. I knew that I was as humanly well-equipped as anyone to try this ministry, but I also knew this was well beyond the human abilities of anyone at all. That meant only one thing: it would not be my talent, but my love for and dependence on, God that would be the critical factor in the project. I felt that my spirituality would be laid bare for all (worst of all,for me) to see. But the opportunity was too ripe and I also knew it was a door that might not be open for even a few more weeks. Kathy was a great help by refusing to help! "Don't say, 'I'll do whatever you want, dear! Don't put this on me. This is your decision. I'll stand with you, but you have to take responsibility.

I prayed and was reading Gurnall's 'A Christian in spiritual armour' one day and came upon a passage: " It requires more prowess and greatness of spirit to obey God faithfully than to command an army of men; more greatness to be a Christian than to be a captain. " I realised that it was an illusion to imagine that I would have to start being brave if I took this job; I should have been living bravely all along. Even if I turned the NYC church down, I could not go back to being a coward. So I might as well go to New York! On July 1, I gave Westminster Seminary a year's notice. Immediately my prayer life broke open like never before. I did not wonder why."

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