Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Starting on January 1st, I will officially become a Southern Baptist NAMB Church Planting Intern. By God's grace, this is my family's first step toward being sent out to Utah to plant a church. As I prepare to begin my internship, I thought it would be worthwhile to reflect upon the coming year.

First, I am excited! I am excited because of the opportunity to serve my Savior in such a crucial ministry. Jesus Christ died for the church (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 5:25), and His kingdom grows in this age through the planting of churches (the book of Acts is a beautiful demonstration of this truth). Since God is worthy of worship (John 4:23-24, Romans 12:1, Hebrews 12:28-29), my desire is for a growing multitude throughout Utah (and the world!) to truly worship Christ for the free gift of eternal life which He purchased with His blood (Revelation 7:9-10). Lord willing, my internship will equip me to serve Christ in faithfully proclaiming His gospel to Utah.

Second, I am scared! I am scared because I have so much to do. My internship will be rigorous, demanding discipline and careful attention to my many requirements and responsibilities. I will be reading and discussing books, meeting with my pastors, teaching and serving in my church, leading a gospel community, seeking to become a certified biblical counselor, and evangelizing the lost in our community. Considering my family and work responsibilities, this all seems overwhelming.

I am also scared because of all the challenges that lie ahead of me. I will need to raise awareness and support to reach my goal of planting a church. I will need to move my family halfway across the country to a place which they have never known as home. I will need to identify and bring together a core team of Christians who will live together in light of the gospel we all cherish. And I am sure that there are a thousand more things that I have not even considered yet.

But most of all, I am scared because I am weak and sinful. As the Apostle Paul reminds his young ministry apprentice Timothy: "So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work" (2 Timothy 2:21 HCSB). I am not the man that I need to be so that my Master will find me useful. I need to grow in holiness and purity. I need to be closer to my Lord in constant prayer. I need to have my mind renewed by the truth of Scripture. And since all of this is foundational to my success as a church planter, pursuing godliness will be my primary focus during my year-long internship.

So I am both excited and scared, but I am also entering my internship with hope. I have hope because I have been united to Christ and have His perfect righteousness credited as my own. I have hope because I have not been left to serve in my own strength, but have been given the Holy Spirit to empower my feeble efforts. I have hope because God has secured the full redemption of His church and His mission to draw them to Himself will not fail. I enter my church planting internship in light of this encouragement from God's Word: "Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21 HCSB). Praise God!

I hope that you will join with me in prayer as I seek to proclaim the gospel of perfect righteousness in Christ to Utah. I plan to use this blog as a space to keep you up-to-date with my progress, so feel free to subscribe by receiving e-mail updates or by using the RSS feed. May the glory of Christ shine brightly in Utah!



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