This week, we’re hearing from various voices on the topic of church planting to celebrate the release of the July/August 2017 issue of Outreach magazine, which is all about church planting and multiplication. Click here to learn more.
Standing among a throng of worshippers, I am overcome. How did I get here? How did they get here? How did this happen?
A moment ago, it seems, we lived a different life in a different place. Then, God stirred up in us a crazy idea, almost too crazy to believe. “Go,” he said. “In the spirit of Abraham and Sarah, pack it up, pack it in and go.”
We had more questions than answers, but each step forward we took, attempting to discern and clarify what go meant for us, God answered.
Us? Are you sure? Yes, start a church and ask others to go with you.
Where? Charlottesville, Virginia.
That’s crazy. Are you sure? Yes, I’m sure.
Why? I have plans for you and your family there: to grow and change you, to use you to carry out a vision there, to bless you, to show you what faith is.
Are you absolutely sure? How? Child, walk by faith, not by sight and you will really see.
Among the throng, I am overcome with the clarity of God with us.
How did I get here? Because of God. Because he has infinitely greater plans and gifts for me than I could ever imagine.
How did they get here? God brought us together in all manners of ways, and from all backgrounds and all walks of life. He formed us from dust into a living, breathing work of art. I thought he brought me here for them, but he really brought them for me, to mold and love and sharpen me.
How did this happen? None of it is logical, none of it explainable. Sure, we have put our back to the plow, but God—only God—could have knitted hearts together in community, redeemed us, changed us, grown us.
Listening to the worshippers, my heart wells up in thanksgiving. The foreign has become familiar, the place has become a people, the land has become loved. I have tasted the fruit of faith, and it is sweet. I have tasted God and, in this moment of clarity at what he has done, I am delighted in him. He has shown me how to walk by faith and not by sight, how to really see.
There were those who dipped their toes in the water of faith before us and encouraged us, “Come on in! The water’s great!” My purpose in writing today is to share the gratefulness I feel toward the Lord because of his faithfulness, but I also hope to, like those before me, turn around and encourage others who are feeling the call of God to go. (Should we not all in some way be hearing this?)
Where is God calling you to go? Friend, come on in! The water’s great!
Christine Hoover (@christinehoover) is the wife of a church planter and author of The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart (Moody, 2013) and From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel (Baker Books, 2015). This article was originally published on Christine’s blog, Grace Covers Me.