A few years back I came to grips with the fact that God was calling me to plant a church. After much prayer (and argument with God), I realized that He was calling me to plant in Sikeston. This was not my first choice, not even in my top 10. There are many churches in the town. I have relationships with many of the pastors, heck, I love most of them! I even had a friend who planted a church just 2 years prior in Sikeston. Why Sikeston? As I surrendered to where He was calling me, I began to try and figure out what a church plant was. Here are some things that I either thought or heard people say:
1) Get a building, start a service, do it better than anyone else. 2) Focus on community. Build strong relationships within the core group. 3) Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Find out problems in the city and be good news to those issues. 4) Have great publicity.
There were many other things that I do not want to bore you with. But, these were the prominent ones. And, I say AMEN AND AMEN to most of them (except #1). But, as I have been praying, preparing, studying, fasting and seeking God, it has been revealed to me why God has me in Sikeston. It is the fact that our city needs to meet with God. More than anything else, Sikeston needs to encounter God! More than they need another church or another service organization or another voice for change, WE need to see Him face to face! And, God has called us here to be a part of that. Hear me, a PART! God has and is using the churches that already are in the city and for that I am thankful. God is working in the city and for that I praise His name. So, I am praying that in all places that call themselves church in our city, let us seek to meet with God. Not focused on having the best worship, the best preaching, or the coolest service…but focused on MEETING WITH THE CREATOR! That is why God has us here. He makes all things new and I believe our city will be better for a pursuit of God by His children. I believe seeking God will do away with petty arguments. I am confident that if we are seeking God, those who are far from Him will be interested in that venture as well. And the cool thing is, when it all comes down to it, we realize we will never find Him because HE FINDS US!
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:1-3 ESV)