Monday, January 30, 2012

Roller Coaster

I love roller coasters. I haven't been on one in years. But I love them. They're fast, rough, exciting and scary. But one of the best things a roller coaster has going for it is that it's not a straight and predictable ride. It has many ups and many downs. That's one of the great things about church planting too. I know that sounds a little off. As a church planter shouldn't I want as many ups as possible? In a way that is true. If I had a choice to have people coming to Jesus and the church thriving and growing all the time of course I would take it. But if that were the case, I think my faith in God and devotion to Jesus would start to slip. The ups are where my faith is strengthened but the downs are where my faith is tested.

The last month has been really fun. We have seen God moving in a new and fresh way on the Hilltop. We have seen leaders step up, worship attendance increase and an Intentional Community launch made up of people who are passionate about reaching our mission field... the Evergreen Neighborhood. Then yesterday, seemingly all at once, the momentum came to a screeching halt. It's like when you come to the end of an amazing loop on a fast roller coaster and you slam to a stop before beginning another incline. It really wasn't that dramatic... it just felt that way in the moment. We probably had half as many people at worship yesterday than we've had for the past month. None of the people I invited came and my message just felt... well... not great. It was just a bummer all around. It was then that I realized I have to be certain of why I am doing what I am doing. Is it for numbers or is it for Jesus? That is when my faith was tested and by God's grace my faith increased.

Then a blessing came. One of those exhilarating parts of the roller coaster ride. We have an awesome family in our church that is as committed as anyone to coming to worship but they have yet to be a part of our Community Groups or more recently our Intentional Community. I love them and there is so much potential in them, but hey haven't taken that next step. It always appears to be scheduling problems but I always wander if that's just an excuse. Then yesterday the husband came to me and told me that he and his wife came up with an idea so that they could be involved with our IC despite their schedule. They asked if they could skype in? I told him that was a great idea! I told him I was so encouraged that they value being a part of biblical community so much that they're willing to skype in until we can offer a gathering on a day of the week that works for them.

Roller coaster rides are full of ups and downs but it's faith in Jesus alone that sustains us through the ride. Thanks for praying. Please keep praying as we Gather to Scatter.


  1. I am so excited! I can not wait to be able to participate with the group. I feel like I miss so much because of my schedule, but now that is going to change! I love, love, love it! Thank you and God Bless!

  2. Great stuff, Bobby, I'm encouraged to know we have Pathways, our extended family, in Hilltop with us. It's awesome to hear that God is reminding you of who builds and sustains His church. Thank God that He is the one who is in control and not us! What a relief...

    Sara and I finally met Stacy and Jenna Saturday night. They are wonderful girls, and we're looking forward to loving our apartment complex together!