Monday, September 24, 2007

Lessons from Saturday Labor: Painting & Planting

I will admit that my ears are completely tuned to hearing messages about starting a church!

OK - with that out of the way - I heard one of those messages in the most unusual places... my yard. This past Saturday I had committed to giving the entire day to work on the house. There are a few things that most of us can do to help the resale value of a house. These were the types of things on "the list". Among them... painting.

What I love about painting is seeing the total transformation that is revealed in the finished product. But that is not what painting is all about... especially not as gauged by time spent. Most of the time spent in painting happens in some of the smaller/less lovely tasks:
  1. preparing the surface means scraping
  2. sanding the scraped surface
  3. brushing away the debris
  4. then finally actually painting
So what do any of these things have to do with church planting? I'm finding these processes to be all but identical. Without getting lost in the list, suffice it to say that I find church planting to be MUCH about the smaller/less lovely tasks that are COMPLETELY necessary in the pursuit of the finished product that will one day be the church.

God, help me to enjoy the process.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Difference Friends Make

Have you recently considered the impact that friendships have on your life? I was thinking about it this week as I said goodbye to a group of friends that I have been learning with for almost a year. Last year at our denominational district conference a group of us decided to form a Learning Community that would help us stay sharp in ministry and life.

So almost every month since then we have met to do just that. We have studied and prayed together. These guys have truly become some of my best friends. But why? I mean... really... after only 10 or so times together spread out over a year's time. What difference could possibly happen in that short amount of time?

Here are the top 3 for me:
  1. they push me to be better spiritually
  2. they sharpen my ideas by making sure they are biblical
  3. they care about me beyond (outside of) the group
Do you have friends like these? It's never too late to start!