may i never forget how we got here and all that God has done.
services are live online each sunday at 9, 1030, and noon PST, but we'd love to have you in person!
our vision statement: to see an increasing number of people in san francisco orient their entire lives around Jesus.
how the church planting journey began for me...
I’ve known that something has been stirring in my husband’s heart. I can sense it when he’s preaching. I can hear it in his voice when he shares with me about this series of Esther taking risks. The pieces are coming together tonight as he asked me to pray about church planting. With a deep breath and a wavering trust, I say, “I’ll do that. I’ll pray. Give me a few days.”
We’ve got it really good. A home in a safe neighborhood in the midwest. A mentor, pastor, who pours daily into Ben. Teaching pastor at a strong missional church. Great public school. Children involved in solid church programs. Friends. Driving distance to family. Season tickets to Silver Dollar City!
We’re not promised this good life here on earth. But we are promised that He will never leave us. That He goes before us. As a young girl, I had already told God that I’d go anywhere. Africa was more on the radar than an urban setting in North America! Ben and I talked about the ‘non-negotiables’ tonight. What we could sacrifice and what we wouldn’t. We could give up being a 2 car family, owning a home, living somewhat close to family. We wouldn’t sacrifice our marriage, our children’s best interests or their education. As best as I can describe it, we held hands, looked at each other, and stepped off the cliff into the great unknown of this faith journey into church planting.
We wrote a 50 Day Prayer Guide today for the 6 of us who will make a trip to San Francisco in January.
“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4.20-21
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43.10-11
We have been called to the task. There is peace in our hearts. As we journey to what we perceive as “ moving day,” “launch” and whatever comes, He wants to grow and prepare us. It is a process. Although we grow anxious, we couldn’t handle it all at one time. We must declare there is only One God who has saved us!
Made our initial trip to San Francisco. Certain it is the city and not the suburbs. Wow, this place is big. It’s rainy. Where are the playgrounds for our kids? There’s concrete everywhere. Where will we live? Will I really carry my groceries out of the store, down the sidewalk, across the street, and into our home? What will church look like here? I’ve got so many questions.
Told Ben how overwhelmed I am with research, information, and the process. My eyes are hurting from looking at all the school data online for the boys.
God, in Your presence this morning, I have overwhelmingly been reminded that You are holy, in control, and desire to receive glory through this process.
Built a prayer base. Asked 10 women to commit to pray for our family, for me. [I had no idea that 3 years later, i’d be emailing them still with requests and they’d still be committed to praying for us.]
Made contact with a public school teacher in San Francisco. We’re quite different. I’m a pastor’s wife. She’s a Jewish lesbian. Her insight into the schools was so helpful. She was happy to know we wanted to move our family to the city and make a difference in a public school.
Spent a few days learning from church planters in New York City.
week of 3.22.10
Sorted through clothes in closet and books on bookshelves. Donate. Consign. Give away.
Attended church planting conference with our staff.
“There comes a time in every person’s life when they are given a unique opportunity to discover the purpose for which they are born. It is their moment of destiny and if they seize it, it is their finest hour.” - Sir Winston Churchill
week of 4.6.10
Boxed up personal baby toys and marked Epic Church nursery.
week of 4.20.10
Packed up box for mom and dad. Cross-stitched picture. Boy’s baby items. [might not have a place to store this in San Francisco]
Began to panic. If we’re giving up church programming, who’s gonna teach our kids? We don’t even start weekly services for at least ten more months. Started to write “hero boot camp” curriculum. That’s a fun idea.
I’ve been physically sick for a few days. We’ve said our good byes and today me and the boys fly to San Francisco. My best friend is helping us move. Ben and a few friends drove out a few days ago. Here goes...
First launch team meeting in our apartment.
We’re meeting people. Having people into our apartment. Sharing our story of why we are here. We’re venturing out and learning new things. Grateful we’re doing this together as a family. Reminded today we aren’t out here alone.
I looked back in my journal this morning. Just a few years ago I wrote, “As best as I can describe it, we held hands, looked at each other, and stepped figuratively off the cliff into the great unknown of faith.”
And it’s been one of the best decisions ever made.