I write to "fill in the blanks" on where I am and what you may have heard or not heard.
At the beginning of October, I will be moving back to Birmingham, AL. The reason is for school. Since serving here at The Commons and in the PNW for almost two years, I have learned a lot about myself, my skills, and what it takes to be an effective minister/church planter. A month ago, I was re-reading a book called "Radical" written by a pastor named David Platt. As I was consuming each page, God began stirring within me some questions and thoughts.
"Can I effectively take someone from knowing nothing about Christ to knowing, believing, & growing in Him?"
"Can I train that person to do the same with people they come in contact with in their everyday life?"
"Do I have a solid grasp on what it means to effectively disciple someone to the point of where they can do the same?"
"Do I equip others well?"
I could answer these questions with a human response and say "yes" to all of the above, but I can't. With prayer and meditation, I concluded that to be most effective in other's lives, I would first need to be "equipped in equipping others". In 12 years of ministry, I have always been someone who does the watering meaning that I took others who have already had a foundation and I would tweak and build off of it. Here in the PNW, You have to be a planter/equipper/sender. I believe that I am not fully equipped yet to effectively be all of these. For me to do what God is calling me to do here, making disciples of Christ who make disciples of Christ, I will need to be better equipped. This equipping will come in the form of school. I plan to return to Birmingham, AL to get my masters (M.Div) in Church Planting.
Prayerfully going back to my home state is far less expensive for me. I could take online courses here in WA, but the reality is that I couldn't focus on school, church, and a full time job at Best Buy. So moving back makes sense as well as being obedient to what God is calling me to do.
My plan is to sell all my furniture that I currently own, pack up a small U-haul trailer, and move back to AL. Once I arrive, I will immediately be looking for a full time job and enrolling to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Extension there in Birmingham. My Goal is to finish school.
God has used me in so many ways and taught me so much while I have been here. It is definitely a tough move for me because my heart is here in the PNW and in The Commons. I have seen so many lives impacted by Christ and seen over 10 students (who were unchurched) give their life to Christ.
I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your prayers, encouragement, and your financial support. Thank you for being the "Church". Through your support, lives were eternally impacted and changed.
After October 1st, I will no longer ask you to support me financially, but will ask that you prayerfully consider supporting The Commons (discoverthecommons.com). We have been used in a tremendous way to impact the Arlington, WA area and will need continual prayer and financial support to continue to do what God has called us to do.
Again, I can not express how much your support has meant to me. The last 2 years of my life is a true testimony of what Christ can do through someone who is just willing to step out into the unknown and the uncomfortable. May He increase in us as we decrease.
I love you all.