We’ve been working with Orchard Hills this last week on a potential church plant up near Lexington, which has been really exciting! We’re trying to resource these folks with all the steps we went through in launching our church. It’s been fun for me to think through all the stuff – prayer, gatherings, business, etc – that we did in the first 18 months of Restoration’s life. From the “church planter’s bootcamp” that Phil Brownmiller and I attended, all the way up to launching the Sunday part of who we are, there were a lot of things that were done (many – MANY – of them by Michelle, our incredible administrator!). It was a supernatural thing that everything came together like it has over these last few years!
And maybe that’s exactly the point. All too often, we get caught up in the details of life, all the stuff that we have going on and all the steps that need to be done. So much so, that we often forget who is ordering those steps. Or who should be.
One of our goals when we started this church was to always – always – move in response to the Holy Spirit. I remember our earliest meetings, praying that God would always be moving ahead of us, and that we would listen enough to simply follow. One of the challenges of our day is that we have so many distractions and so much access to media that we simply don’t take the time to listen for God’s voice. Very often, in the midst of the activity and distractions, the Holy Spirit wants to whisper something to our souls. Maybe it’s direction. Maybe it’s an affirmation. Or maybe it’s just a word speaking gently to our souls that He is for us, and that He has our steps under control.
The amazing encouragement of going back through all the activity when we started was seeing the steps that we took, and how each one was just right. They weren’t always easy or simple…but they were just what was needed. God directed each one, and provided in ways we’re still (re)discovering.
I hope and pray this summer is a chance to slow down a little – enough to intentionally listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit in the midst of all our steps.