As some of you know, Julie and I are in the very beginning stages of working with Bryan and Lindsey Payne to plant a Harvest Bible Chapel here in Austin, Texas. Our Facebook group is here if you want to read more about this new church plant. I have been tasked with doing the legal papers to take the new church from dream into its very beginning embryonic stage.
I began this journey back in January 2003 when God used some events at the church where we were to lead me to intensely examine what the Bible says about the local church. During that year, and thereafter, I came to the conclusion that in some important ways, the way we were “doing church” contained some extra-biblical and unbiblical elements.
I eventually decided that God was calling me to do something about what I had learned and start a church. I proceeded to break with our church and start something on my own, but I was given the opportunity instead to try out my ideas in a stand alone new ungraded Sunday school department. The Harbor was the result and it proved to be a valuable learning experience. I am so grateful to the beautiful people who decided to experiment with us in trying something new inside of a very established traditional church structure.
At the Harbor, we did some foolish things, we learned some valuable lessons and God blessed the effort. It was amazing. Most importantly, I learned why God and Paul consistently use the ‘body’ metaphor for a church. It takes all of the members using their particular gifts to make the whole unit function most effectively. we all have blind spots and weaknesses to go with our strong points. We all need to mesh together our strengths and weaknesses in order to be more effective together than any of us could be separately.
Events intervened and we went to Arkansas for a year. Since returning, Julie and I have felt out of sync in our church membership. just a bit out of phase with everything around us.
God has continued to impress upon me the need for me to be involved in starting a church, but not by myself. I learned in the Harbor experience and in research since then that I am not the personality type nor do I have the gift set or training to start a church on my own.
some of you may have noticed that a recurring theme on this blog is church planting:
Here is Mark Driscoll talking about the attributes needed for a church planter.
with God’s help and in His grace, Bryan will be the man that God can use in this endeavor of bringing Harvest Bible Chapel to Austin for God’s glory and for the furtherance of His Kingdom, and I will be able to help.