“I’m staying here forever.”
Whenever the subject of church planting was brought up, either by my pastor or others, I would cringe inside and quickly try to change the subject or quietly move away to another part of the room. I am not interested in church planting; I don’t have a heart for it; there is no way in the world I would ever do this; it’s not my calling. Whenever thinking about such a horrendous thing, my heart would race and I’d get depressed. (Click here to read part 1)
And with good reason. Actually, there were many reasons:
- We not only live in a post-Christian culture, we live in an increasingly anti-Christian culture.
- There are too many churches in Southern California
- The spiritual ground is very hard in Cali
- The rise in atheism
- A lot of new churches never get off the ground (and former pastors are usually only qualified to sell insurance).
- I serve in a great church with good pay and benefits. How will my family survive?
- I’ve lived in California for 54 years, and always near the beach! (I hate hot weather. Hate it!)
- All my friends and family live here. My wife and two girls have all their friends here.
- I have a pension in just five more years.
A few months ago, a good friend and Hope Chapel’s CPA left for the Austin area of Texas because God called him. He, too, had a comfortable job, a family, a nice home and a secure future, yet God beckoned him to quit and move. He did not not know where he was going or where he would work. He just knew he had to obey.
Yes, I thought he was a little off-base.
I kept in touch with him over the last several months and when he visited two weeks ago, I bought him lunch. Between bites of his One Trip Sizzler Salad Bar, he told me his story.
At the end of our luncheon, “my heart was strangely warmed” with the idea of Austin, Texas, so I thought that it may be time for me to go as well.