Monday, September 26, 2005

September 26, 2005 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

“And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)

Church planting is about spreading the Excellencies of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The Apostle Paul felt the necessity to “present every man complete in Christ.” To some this sounds na├»ve, to others unrealistic, but to God it is the sound of Christian obedience. As believers in Jesus Christ, knowing the satisfaction that comes from a life united with God, we cannot be content until we have commended Him Whom we cherish to all peoples! Our joy in God overflows into a desire for others to share our joy! Jesus Christ is the only hope for this type of eternal satisfaction, and therefore we are praying to plant a church that will herald the Excellencies of Christ to “every man.”
Church planting is hard work. The Apostle Paul said, “for this purpose I labor.” There is nothing easy about giving birth, and church planting is the birth of a new congregation. The word translated “labor” is “agonizomenos,” and as you can see, it carries the idea of “agony.” This word can also be translated “toil” or “strive.” In short, Paul is saying, Christian ministry, and especially church planting is not a walk in the park.
Church planting is fueled by an infinite Source – namely, God! Despite Paul’s difficult labor, he was quick to point out that God is the One who is doing the work. We are to strive diligently, but not in our own power. If we did, as the 16th century German Reformer Martin Luther said, “our striving would be losing.” If the people are going to be awestruck by Christ, and stand “complete in Christ,” then there must be a supernatural presence empowering the ministry. God is the fuel and goal of church planting. God empowers the labor! God is the excellent treasure to Whom the labor leads!
Tracy and I deeply thank you for your prayers and support during this season of preparation. We have never been so overwhelmed and so helped as we are now. God is faithfully providing the grace we need to maximize this year of growth as individuals, a family, and as a pastor. The Lord has been pouring grace on our personal and family devotions. Our needs are being met in every way. God is giving us the grace to prepare to plant a new Christ-proclaiming church that will labor according to His power to present every man complete in Christ!