I finally have my Mac back from the shop. I only started using a Mac because so many Mac users raved about them. They told me how fast and efficient they are. They’re so user-friendly. Once you use one you’ll never want a PC again. Unfortunately I’ve had nothing but problems with this Mac from the moment I opened it. So either all of these people are lying because they don’t want to be alone in their Mac misery, or I got a lemon.
Things have been a bit busy the past couple of weeks. Anna and I attended a conference in South Bend (note photo of Touchdown Jesus). It was a great time away from the kids (some courageous and loving friends agreed to watch Gabby and Louis while we were gone). It was a conference hosted by the Evangelical Free Church (the organization we’re planting with). We learned a great deal about beginning a church with a focus on living out the Gospel. Unfortunately not all churches do this and it’s tougher if you don’t set that as the culture from the beginning. We also gleaned some advice on initiating a discipleship ministry from the beginning.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal with our launch team over the weekend as we shore things up. We still hope to launch Sunday services early next year and this team will be invaluable in making this happen. They’re a great group of people who love Jesus and want to see our community impacted. God has blessed us!
We are close to securing rental space for Sunday morning and office space for the rest of the week in downtown Oak Park. God is providing these places to us at rates that are far below market value. It’s pretty amazing to see how He is providing. There are times of discouragement when I need God to further confirm His calling to start this church and He comes through every time. This was a big one!
I got a chance to preach in a church on the South Side on Sunday. It’s called The Church of Chicago and meets in a school at 95th and Prospect. What a loving community! It’s great to feel truly welcome when visiting a church, especially when you’re going to preach there.
I’m attending a sermon workshop today taught by Knute Larson. I really want to focus on my preaching to refine it and grow in my abilities. Preaching is central to having a transforming church and I don’t want to be the one holding us back. I have other training sessions scheduled as well as meetings with experienced preachers for advice.
Next week Anna and I are taking a vacation. We’re not going anywhere, but we’re going to keep the kids in daycare each day and just go on a series of dates every day. Because of the church plant it may be a year or more before we’re able to take any down time again so we’re really looking forward to just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company for a week.
That our week off will be restful and invigorating.
That our search for a worship team would be successful. That will be ramped up later this week.
I have a few appointments with larger donors over the next 3 weeks. Please pray that God would burden their hearts for our ministry.
That the Holy Spirit will continue to give me wisdom as I formulate exactly how this church will be structured.