November 22, 2004

Sherri and I recently returned from assessment with a church planting organization called Stadia. It was intense, but insightful. We still don’t know for sure what is next for us, so I’d like to ask for continued prayers from those of you who have been praying for us.

They closed out the assessment with two either/or recommendations for us. First of all, they recommended that we go work for a short time at a recent church plant. They are concerned that I have no experience in a smaller church (I’ve been at a megachurch for the last 11 years), and that it would be good to get a taste of how different it is. Their second recommendation is that we go ahead and plant in the next year. They would support us if we choose to do that as well. We are now trying to determine which direction to go, and that brings us to the second set of circumstances…

Some of you are aware that we have been interested in planting in Austin, TX. Stadia is preparing to do work in that area, but they aren’t ready yet. They perhaps will be in a year or so. My next step is to talk to the regional rep for Stadia to see what some of the immediate opportunities are. So, here are the two options ahead of us:

1. We could go ahead and prepare to plant immediately, which means we would likely launch a church next fall in either Arizona or Southern California. The biggest hurdle to this is that I am done in my current position on December 31, and Stadia wouldn’t be ready for us until March or April, so we would have a few months to cover some living expenses. A good friend, who might not know what he is in for, has graciously offered for us to live with him, so we at least know we have that covered.

2. The second option is to work with Stadia toward a future plant in Austin and find something to do in the meantime. Perhaps we could work with our good friends who are preparing to plant a church in Seattle for a year or two, I could go back to school full time, or maybe something else entirely will emerge.

This will be an interesting holiday season for us, but hopefully one that will help define at least the next few years of our life. If you have any insights or questions for us, please pass them along.

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