My wife always tells me that any plan needs to have clear, attainable objectives, so when I knew the direction I believed the Lord wanted me to go in, I began to plan out a path of clear,attainable (I hoped) objectives. What I didn't know was that the Lord had already set His own parameters.
Now to be fair to the Lord (a little bit of sarcasm there), He was operating in regards to my prayers, more than my plans. Let me explain. Back in late winter I began praying that if the Lord was in this vision, He would begin preparing the hearts of a few men and their families to join in the work. I wasn't looking to habitual 'church hoppers' or disgruntled people getting away from conflict or crisis in an existing congregation. I wanted people who were disaffected by the status-quo of the tradition bound Sunday morning meeting.
I am not an extrovert by nature, so I wasn't quite sure how all this going to actually work? Moving 1600 miles into a new world of complete strangers, having to be home to watch over my kids and work out their home school program, how was I going to meet people? So I began to devise a timetable. The gathering of my family would be the 'hub'. We would meet on a certain date and from that date I had set a 3-6 month window in which to find ways into the community and form relationships and from there, hope to find one family to invite to participate in the house church. 8-12 months from the founding of the hub, I hoped to find a second family. My friend Joe C. from HCC used to say, 'If you want to make God smile, tell Him your plans.' Well God was surely smiling because about two weeks after we'd moved in we were at the neighborhood park/playground and my wife, as is common to her extroverted nature, was talking up the other parents. In the course of conversation, we met this one couple with a young daughter. They were looking for just what we were proposing. We invited them. A week or so later, talking with the neighbors in back, they also shared their desire for the small, connected fellowship. We invited them. So while my plan called for a 3-6 month window, God's plan had a 3-4 week plan! The hub launched with 9 people on September 27!
I am so excited for what the Lord has in store for this new faith family, but I guess I'd better think twice before setting any more timetables!