For some time, I’ve been asking questions about the local church, its impact in a city, and my place in God’s coming kingdom. Deep down, I wondered, could I be a church planter? I didn’t see myself as qualified. I didn’t even know where to begin in church planting discernment. I did, however, always feel the pull towards the adventure of the kingdom.
Saying yes to the Multiply Vineyard Summit, a conference for anyone wanting to be involved in church multiplication and church planting discernment, seemed like a good starting point to gain clarity and connections with others who stood where I was standing. I went to the Summit giving myself the full permission to wonder, “Could I be a church planter?”
One of the most helpful things about the Summit was the people. It was so important to have others, those ahead of me and in step with me, to process, discern, pray, dream, question, and wonder together.
As those discerning our calling, we had time at the conference to share what we thought God was up to in our lives. This was an incredible space of vulnerability and authenticity for us. From that space, I got to bless and celebrate and speak courage into others. The same was true for me; others blessed, celebrated, and spoke courage into me.
Without these four days, I am unsure if I would be pursuing a calling to be a church planter today.
During one of the days, I shared about a collection of Holy Spirit moments that I experienced around my discernment. As I shared, others’ excitement inspired me, and I began to grow more and more confident about how God was moving! This was probably the most impactful part of my experience.
God instilled confidence in me as a church planter. I realized I was scared of what other people thought or that I would look foolish. I decided to let the Lord speak into fear and pride. In that place of freedom, I found myself incredibly excited and inspired for what would come from the “yes” God cultivated in me over the years.
Coming home from the Summit, I’ve begun plans to move to London, England in 2020. I am talking with Vineyard pastors there, so that when I move I will be connected to the church and will continue to be trained and equipped to one day church plant.
The Summit gives a definite space to reflect and pray, to step outside of everyday life to recognize the movement of the Holy Spirit, to share your story with others who have either been in your shoes or are standing alongside you discerning for him or herself.
It is a space to wonder, what if I planted a church? What if God really is calling me to be a church planter? What if this is what I desire? What would I say in response? I am grateful for this church planting discernment time to reflect and to see God’s activity in my life with the help of those around me.