Sometime within weeks before and after graduation our "plan" changed drastically several times. What to do next was always on our minds. We thought maybe north west of Charlotte, up into the mountains we'd go. We thought, maybe to NYC, to Redeemer's Church Planting internship. We had a couple promising interviews and preaching opportunities (for Daniel, I mean, since I try to avoid the preaching, especially from a pulpit), that left us prayerfully hopeful. Several plans stuck with us. They seemed to fit. They made sense. They were the desires of our hearts, and so we pursued them.
Then one morning Daniel came home from a meeting singing a totally different tune. Gone were the ideas from the night before, and in front of us was a new opportunity that Daniel just couldn't get out of his head, or off his heart.
"It'll be the perfect opportunity for church planting preparation!" "It'll stretch us!" "It'll be hard, but we'll have the best support - better support than we could ask for!" "I'll be able to use ideas, and not just think of them." "I'll be able to get practical experience, and learn from someone who has a plan!" "... and I just really, really want to do this." were all phrases I heard continually over the next several hours.
And in my mind the red flags are flying. I see a giant train scree-ee-tching to a stop, right before a major collision. Well, Honey, can we pray about this?
Thing is, we had been praying, constantly, for the last three months. Or more. Praying for direction and guidance. I always pray, God, make it as clear as a rainbow in the sky. Usually, I don't get that. God has slower ways of working, to help us learn to trust him.
This time, though, I got my rainbow.
In less than 24 hours Daniel and I were certainly convinced our "next step" was in front of us.
So, Daniel accepted a position at a Presbyterian church here in Charlotte. It's a revitalization project. Thirteen years ago two small, old, dying Presbyterian churches joined to form one slightly larger, old dying Presbyterian church. Little over a year ago they called a new pastor, who had a vision to see life again in the hearts of the people there, and he's been working on that ever since. It's a slow process, but in 12 months he's already crossed off most of the things he had listed for 36 months into the project. God is working! Bringing Daniel on as an assistant pastor was one of the necessary steps to move the church towards more evangelism and outreach. Essentially, that's Daniel's job. More evangelism. More outreach. Charlotte is full of unchurch families who need the Gospel.
That's where we are. Meeting people in Charlotte, developing relationships, learning the culture, and delving into a missions opportunity to reach the lost right where we are. God does great things!
Does it go without saying that churches with Christians in them should not be dying? It's become our passion to see this project succeed. Not because we want praise and glory for our own, or our pastor's success, but because we know we serve a living God whose Spirit indwells every Christian with the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. With power like that, how could His kingdom not advance to the uttermost parts of the earth?