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.