Sunday, February 11, 2007

Starting a Family Integrated Church

Over the last weeks and months God has led me to realize that He wants me to start a church, a Family Integrated Church, in the North Orange County area of Southern California. I have come to this conclusion through the many workings of God in both His word and in situations only God can orchestrate. The more I wrote on the Family Integrated Church and what I felt it would look like I became more aware that God was working through my writing to tell me to do something about what I was writing about, such as start a church. Over the next weeks and possibly months I will be transitioning this series from what I see a FIC looking like to the actual things being done to start one. I will still write on what a FIC looks like but these will be intermingled with writing on the actual starting of a church..

This whole process of starting a church is both exciting and scary. Not more than 6 months ago I would never have considered myself being a church planter as this was not how I saw God equipping me but how wrong I was. Not that I have suddenly seen God as equipping me for this but instead just seeing that God wants me to do this. It is only when we are at the point where we are unsure of our abilities that we will rely on God the most, when we rely on God as He desires us to be. So that is where I am right now.

One of the hardest aspects has been in letting my current church know what I will be doing. Leaving ones home church, where I have been for over 9 years, is always hard but as we are a small church even one family leaving is always a difficult thing. As I believe that we need to make sure we leave the churches we are at in a manner that is worthy of God I have spent much time in prayer and concern over how this would be done. Through God’s providence things at church began to work out so that my leaving would not be as much of an issue and that was an answer to prayer. In the last few days things at church have changed some but I know that God still desires me to move forward as in the end it is He who will work all things out.

In preparing to start a church I have spent time in e-mails with one of the elders, Matt Bullen, at Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston asking questions about how they started their church. I think having wise counsel from those that have traveled the road you are heading down is important. Matt’s wisdom has both made me think through what I will be doing and has also confirmed both the path I am on and many of the particulars of the journey ahead.

I have begun this process by sending out e-mails informing people of God’s call on me to start a Family Integrated church. Part of this informing people is making sure that I fully explain what an FIC is as I’m pretty sure there is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation on what an FIC is. This was one of the reasons I started writing about my vision for an FIC as I would be able to turn people to the venue of my blog to answer many of the questions they may have.

The next step after informing people is to have a brain storming meeting for those that are interested. This is not just for those interested in being part of the start but also for those that may simply want to partner in prayer or other forms of support. For this particular start I plan on doing this shortly after my visit to GFBC in a couple weeks as I am praying that the visit will further solidify some of the thoughts I already have and make me question others, if need be. In all of this the most important thing I can do is keep vigilant in prayer as this makes God the center of all that is done.

So as I move along the path God has set before me I will post other installments.

Past Posts on Family Integrated Church:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

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