THE HARDEST PART OF PLANTING A CHURCH SO FAR: MAKING YOUR OWN WAKE

Ever since we started planting a church, people always ask me a question.

Usually the questions are something like “How’s it going?”, “What’s it like?” or “What’s been the hardest part?”

I think the last question is the one I get asked the most. I thought today I would elaborate on that a little more and tell you what the hardest part has been thus far in our experience. (This answer could change, but for now this is what I thought of.)

The hardest part of planting a church has been making our own wake.  If you don’t know what a wake is than you obviously have never been around a boat or waterskiing and wakeboarding. Wake is defined as “the track or path left behind a ship”.  It’s the part behind the boat that isn’t as bumpy and is really easy to ski inside of.

Previous to this adventure in my life I have always ridden in someone else’s wake.  For the first 18 years (and closer to 22 if I am being honest) I rode in the wake of Ron and Jeanne Artrip.  Oh what a comfortable glorious wake that was.  I miss those days.  For the next couple I rode in the wake of my school, other pastors, ministries, etc.

When I went on staff at Grace Church they already had a name, a building, 1000 people, and a youth group. We saw some cool growth and had great opportunities but I could go anywhere on the north side and name drop the church, another staff member or even reference we were the church next the YMCA and not have to go outside of their wake. I could do things in the community and even when I was meeting new people they still knew of our church or they still connected me to someone they knew in our group. I pushed myself and coached soccer and met people, but there were already guys on the soccer team at our church so looking back I was just the cherry on top of the equation. The kids in our youth group were often already connected to the church and their mom and dad wanted them there.  Rick Nuzum had gone before me as a great pastor and I rode in his wake.

Until I moved to Hilliard I had never really had to make my own wake.  In life, in ministry, in relationships we were always grafted in and were able to flourish, and that has been hands down the hardest adjustment.  It weird not knowing anyone in this town and not often seeing people you know at Kroger.  Its unfamiliar when people ask you where you work or why you are buying things and you name-drop a church that has no notoriety.

It won’t be that way for long. We are working hard to make in roads, to build relationships, and build a brand. We are working hard as a church, staff, and family to build a wake.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is WHAT we are called to and this is WHO we are called to. We knew that we didn’t know anyone down here. We knew there were people in Hilliard who needed Jesus and we chose to move here out of obedience and enthusiasm.  I’m not upset about it; in fact I am really excited by the challenge.  I’m just answering the question for the closet planters who ready my blog and haven’t gotten the courage to jump yet.

FIRST SERVICE IN HILLIARD 1.13.13 MIND DUMP

  • Sunday was a milestone for Movement Church.  It was our first time in the Harmony Artistic Center holding a service in Hilliard.
  • We didn’t really publicize this service too much, we decided to work the kinks out and let things grow each week from here on out.
  • When I say we are building slowly I mean we are missing things still. We are watching spending and cash flow. For instance, we have to buy some pipe and drape to cover the giant dance studio mirror that takes up the entire wall of our main meeting room. Its awkward to look to the left. We also did Sunday we no lighting except what is installed in the room day to day. These are not eternal things but some items we hope to improve on.
  • We got into our building Saturday night around 5:30 and made a ton of trips from all the houses and places we were storing our stuff. We got all set up and even did some quick sound checking. We left around 1am knowing we were already set up and could “sleep in” compared to what will now become the new normal.
  • I mentioned we didn’t really advertise Sunday, but we had a good amount of visitors and saw some people we have connected with in our short time in Hilliard as well as some people who found us on facebook.
  • The church is not defined by a service and I never want to glorify things above our purpose, but our team killed it in their planning and purchasing.
  • Mindy had movement kids looking like a kids party on steroids and actually got a thunderous applause as moms entered.
  • Josh had the auditorium looking like a million bucks and has set us up for not only this phase and this room but for the next phase and a bigger room if its ever needed.
  • My former neighbor Andy and his wife Silvia are doing first impressions and they can host in their sleep so their spirit is leaking already and will only get better. It is beyond cool to think that a guy I didn’t know 4.5 years ago has come to know Christ, asked me to do his wedding, joined our launch team, is leading a movement group and overseeing first impressions.
  • I could gush all night but just wanted to give an update to those who pray and are watching us from afar.
  • We are building slowly and adding things each week but for where we are I don’t think Sunday could’ve gone better.  It was great for our team and a momentum builder.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY @SEANSPOELSTRA

Today is my friend Sean’s birthday.

He doesn’t really need anything other than a new wardrobe, but all I can afford is this blog post to honor him.

He is sentimental and old fashioned so he will probably print this off and make a scrapbook or Modge Podge it to a plate.

My friend Sean Spoelstra is a crazy Canadian.

Before I introduce him to others I always try to prepare them.

I describe him as a Jim Carey character from the mid 90’s who loves Jesus and the church.

They always underestimate the way he sweeps into a room and takes it over.

When he leaves they say, “you weren’t kidding!”

Sean has cared for me as a friend and mentor for 8 years now.

He is one of my sanity people that I like to tell everything too, so he has seen me at my maddest and most discouraged.

Sean is a great husband and speaks into my marriage.

Sean is a great dad and speaks into my fathering.

Sean bleeds for the church and always champions multiplication.

Sean has hands down been the most vocal and supportive of  Kristin and I planting a church.

Long before Movement Church when we were thinking about moving to Cincinnatti and/or had no idea what God could do, Sean told us he saw that in us and encouraged us to follow God.

I am grateful that God us made us friends and put you and Melissa in our lives.

Thanks for green lighting our calling and telling us we could do this when others weren’t as optimistic.

Thanks for the constant encouragement and helping me pursue God.

This blog post good for one free haircut.