The Lord threw us a pretty significant curve ball about 7 months ago. We have steadily been praying about what the Lord would have for Jason career wise- this has always been frustrating and a bit scary not really knowing the answer. But the Lord was faithful in speaking to us and we trust He will now be faithful in seeing His word to us come to fruition as we try to obey Him by planting a church.
A little less than a year ago we felt that the Lord was calling Jason into full time ministry- and soon after that we realized not just any full time ministry but into becoming a pastor. This was news to us since that idea had never been on our radar. Now that we have heard from the Lord, we also see His fingerprints in weaving this in both of our souls over the last few years.
As we started to pray about where the Lord wanted Jason to fulfill this calling we never had a sense of peace or confidence in church after church that we looked at. This was throwing us off a bit. We began to mention to friends that the Lord was calling Jason to become a pastor. Several friends who were not connected to one another randomly mentioned to us the idea of church planting. We laughed. Surely the Lord was not calling us to that. We are young and inexperienced and about to become parents to a newborn baby... church planting was surely not the answer...
As we began to talk we decided we should at least make our consceiences feel better by just praying about it (mainly cause we were thrown off by random conversations about it with friends). So we prayed- and prayed some more- and finally realized, yes, church planting is what we see God calling us to.
So church planting... not easy work. And I believe we will only come to see that statement as more and more true. But most of what God calls us to, in the Chrisitan life, is not easy right? But the Lord has never failed us and so we trust He will see His calling through. I am so thankful that He is sovreign over all things- and that means sovreign over young, inexperienced, brand new parents.
As we talked to wise men, and sought counsel, we talked to a friend of our's named Jordan Thomas. Long story short Jordan encouraged Jason to find another man who he knew well and who he was on the same page theologically with to pursue this plant alongside him. This conversation happened on a Wednesday night- the next night Jason decided to call some friends of ours (who lived in Ft. Worth) to mention this idea but we knew they wouldn't be able to come- so mainly we were just calling to fill them in on the news and ask them to pray for us.
Clay told Jason he was interested in the possibility but he knew he would have to get a job as a teacher and school was starting in just a few days so he didn't see how that left any oppourtunity to look for a job, get one, and move his family (wife and three boys) 5 hours away in less than a week.
Clay talked to his wife Robin that night and they deccided to at least call a school the next morning (mainly because he told Jason he would). One phone call later and clay had a job interview the next day. Saturday their whole family drove down for the interview- on Monday he found out he got the job and was told he started the next day and school started the day after. We mentioned this to clay on Thursday and after he got the job on Monday they grabbed what they could and moved here Tuesday! Their Fort Worth friends packed up the rest of their house for them and they moved the rest a month later. I am thankful for obedient friends who faithfully follow the Lord no matter how crazy that following looks.
So here are the rest of the details:
Clay and Jason will be the starting elders for this church plant that will be located in Alexandria, LA.
We have shared this calling and vision with some leaders and staff of our church family and they have been very supportive thus far.
We have met with about 20 other adults who feel led to be a part of this plant as well and will start meeting with this core group weekly by the end of this month.
The church plant looks like it will be planted in the very poor area of the city- there is little outreach there- and what is there is not healthy outreach so that is why we feel led to locate there.
Jason is being ordained, Lord willing, the last Sunday of this month where he will also share the details of this vision with our church family.
So if you would pray for us, pray for these things:
1. Our church family would be supportive and give us more wise counsel as we explain this calling and vision.
2. That God would continue to gift Jason in the area of preaching and shepherding- and that he would always remain dependent on the Lord.
3. That God would give us a building or space to meet that also has room for childcare.
4. That God would show the power of the gosel by breaking the barrier between a mostly white middle class group of people trying to reach out to a mostly poor and black community. This seems impossible to man- but we will trust our God that his promise is true- all things are possible with Him.