I’m sure after my big announcement on Sunday the 28th, many of you have plenty of questions for me. This week I want to take some time to answer some of them.
- Why would you want to leave? The answer is I don’t. From a very selfish standpoint, I’ve got it good at United. I love the people I work with on a weekly basis and the people I get to minister to. In addition Lisa and I love our house and I get paid quite nicely to do something I’m extremely passionate about. However, Jesus has asked all of us to “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me”. The last I checked, cross-bearing means sacrifice. Jesus before going to the cross prayed and asked God if there was any other way but the cross to fulfill his mission to please do that, yet He said, “not my will be done, let your will be done”.
Ever since God dropped the vision on me for starting a church in Harrisburg back in October, I’ve prayed God if there is another way, please make that clear. Instead though God has just opened one incredible door after another to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is His will for us. To move is going to require sacrifice on Lisa and I’s behalf. Not only will we be moving, but I’ll be taking a dramatic decrease in pay. More than likely this will mean Lisa will need to find a job. In addition we’ll be starting all over from scratch what has taken us years to build at United. Will it be easy? No. Will it be fun? Sometimes. Will it be hard work? Yes. Are we confident this is what God wants from us? Yes, yes, 100%, yes. As I said in the announcement, it would be hypocritical of me to have preached for 3+ years that you need to be 100% devoted to God and always be obedient to Him, but yet then backed down when God asked me to do something that required sacrifice.
2. But why Harrisburg, why not somewhere closer like Greencastle or Hagerstown? There are a number of reasons. The primary one is because that’s where God told me to go. As I’ve joked with a few people during this process that have asked me this question…”Jonah didn’t go to the city God told him to go and that didn’t work out to well for him. So since God clearly told me Harrisburg…I’m going to Harrisburg”.
Also I believe He chose Harrisburg because the vision He gave me is so big and potentially nation/world changing, that it’s going to require a larger city to pull off. In the coming days I’ll outline more of what He’s calling us to do, but the vision is not to just reach a city, but to help re-ignite our denomination and to ultimately become a training center for churches all over the US to send others for training. Now obviously there are a lot of other large cities that God could have called us to, but I think He chose Harrisburg because it is the birthplace of our denomination, and there are a lot of strategic alliances/resources already in place in that area that will make the vision much more likely to succeed.
Lastly, my desire is to do nothing that will in any way hurt the United Worship Experience or Chambersburg First Church of God. Being too close might have done such a thing so I believe God called me to a place that was not so close to be a hindrance but also not so far away that United and CFCOG can’t help me as well as me help you.
That’s enough for today…keep checking back and I’ll answer more questions throughout the week. If you have one you’d like for me to answer, let me know so that we can make the transition as smooth as possible for all involved.