Friday, December 17, 2004

A Target Group

The burning question I had was "What group can we reach that are not being reached by other congregations?" I felt God speaking to me about everyday young people in this town; waitresses, clerks, teachers, mechanics. This new, as of yet unnamed, church would reach out to them.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Start Your Engines!

As the holiday season approached, Kathy and I were both reading the book of Acts. As we read about the first church, we felt a definitive call towards starting a church. I felt like Moses at the burning bush; scared stiff. Kathy, however, was confident that God would provide leadership to help me. So, I spoke with my friend Henry Hall about this call. I told him my biggest fear was my lack of administrative abilities. He offered his help and ended up (among many other things) forming the structure for the small group ministry of the church.

Monday, November 8, 2004

The Unconnected

We were surrounded by people who felt disconnected from God. Many wouldn't go to any church in the area. Maybe what we needed was a new church to help them through this process of getting connected. I felt a strong pull toward this. I also felt scared to death. So I finally spoke with my wife about this. Kathy was supportive. A few weeks later, my pastor gave a message entitled “A Branch is Rising”. He shared his thoughts on the need for Culpeper Baptist Church to start a new congregation in Culpeper. I couldn’t believe my ears. When God speaks, He speaks through a lot of people!

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

The Next Step

The first Tuesday of November, I was having lunch with an interdenominational group of Christian ministers. I happened to be sitting next to the Director of Missions for the Shiloh Baptist Association. Lanny Horton is a great guy with a heart that longs to see God's Kingdom grow. He was instrumental in bringing new churches to Culpeper. So I casually asked him when Shiloh was going to start a postmodern church.

Without skipping a beat he replied, "I don't know. When are YOU going to start it?"

I nervously laughed and shared some ideas for a new kind of church, but left it at that. Lanny wasn’t done. He called the next day and asked me again about starting a new church. He called a third time the following day with the same question! I had felt God calling me to be a creative messenger, but I didn't think of God calling me to plant a church. He would make that clear later on.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004


My wife Kathy and I were on vacation, and I had gone to the motel lobby so I could chat with God for a while. I had been the Minister of Youth at Culpeper Baptist Church for several years and was happy. I loved the church and worked with a great staff. But I also loved tinkering and inventing, so I asked God "What am I here for?” I opened my Bible to Ezra. As I read, one verse jumped out of the pages and hit me between the eyes. Ezra 7:10 reads, "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel."

I believe at that moment I discovered my calling. It was a calling to study and follow the way that God wants us to follow. A way of love, respect, peace, joy, and forgiveness. And it was a calling to creatively teach others to do likewise. But I was unsure what the next step should be.