“I’m never leaving California!” (Moving On!, Pt. 2)

“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.
  • Etc.

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.

Click here for part 3 to see what part of Texas we are going.

Comments (31)

  1. Laurene Cail


    Love the pics! And yes, it gets very hot in Austin! Don’t know if there are Sizzlers there either!

  2. Reply


    In advance… welcome to Texas!
    You’ll be (Lord willing) 3 hours south of us here in Dallas, but we trust your new task will be blessed. The road may not be smooth, but it is a road worth travelling on.

    Dave Dunbar

  3. Reply

    Closest Sizzler is in New Mexico. I’m guessing Steve just might be able to find a steakhouse or two in Texas, though. :^)

  4. Steve L.


    If you can find a Mongolian Bar-B-Q down there, I just might pay you a visit! Well… that is if you pick up the tab :<)

  5. Clint McCain


    I’m looking forward to the rest of the story; “my heart was strangely warmed” sounds like maybe something spicy from the “One Trip Sizzler Salad Bar”! 😉

  6. Louise Outland


    Thank you Pastor Steve for letting us come along during this great growth circumstance in your life. Many times it is the peace that comes along with your final step in submission to His will that allows you to be resolved and have the confidence needed to walk with Him no matter what comes.

    On the second note: I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge,
    I’ve never known you to be QUIET about anything concerning God 🙂

  7. Porkchop


    Selling insurance…. Well, that and putting handbills on doors too… That’s what Ted Haggard was reduced to.

    Of course there is always the Clergy Project if you want to come clean. http://www.clergyproject.org

  8. David Grantham


    Steve Sanchez, a Texan. Wow. Yes it gets hot but little humidity compared to us in the swampy deep south. “Keep Austin weird” is their unofficial motto. Big time music and artsy community. Shoes optional.

    I remember stepping onto the balcony outside your office. Awesome view across the PCH, beautiful Pacific ocean and cool breeze blowing. Just like Austin,only different.
    (BTW-are they taking resumes’ for your old position? I don’t believe He is calling me but maybe I can talk Him into it.)

  9. rufustfirefly


    By “anti-Christian culture” you mean a culture where you don’t get your way all the time.

      • Nohm

        I don’t see an anti-Christian culture in the USA. Would you be able to give examples of “anti-Christian” culture, and not “We’re Not Getting Our Way” culture?

      • rufustfirefly

        Yeah, in your head not getting your way all the time, not being able to tell people how to live, is “anti-Christian”.

      • TalkingSnake

        Christian persecution complex much?

        Austin needs your brand of God-bothering like it needs another bbq joint. At least we’ll see if you have the nads to go on Atheist Community of Austin and debate Matt and the crew. That I’ll watch.

      • Nohm

        Hmm, I’ll try again.

        Hi Steve,

        I don’t see an anti-Christian culture in the USA. Would you be able to give examples of “anti-Christian” culture, and not “We’re Not Getting Our Way” culture?

      • Granted my opinion is subjective, but this article is a good sign o’ the times! If you were a Christian you would agree. If I was an atheist, I’d probably have your opinion, too.

      • Nohm

        Thanks for posting that, Steve.

        There are many problems with the claims made in that article (e.g., the author is not telling the full story); would you be interested in my take on the problematic claims, or would that be a waste of my time?

  10. Karen H


    Things to see in Austin:
    bluebonnets (elsewhere known as lupines)

    By the way, it seems like an awfully long time since we sent anyone out to start a church.

  11. Dale in Texas


    Steve, do you know which part of Austin or perhaps one of the surrounding cities like Pflugerville or Round Rock that you are coming to? It’s exciting that you’re headed this way.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *