When people find out we planted a church in Clarksville, TN, this is the typical response:
Although some people will tell you, “God will bless you wherever you go,” I believe God has somewhere specific He wants to send you. God doesn’t do anything randomly, so I have a hard time believing He would be flippant and random with something as important as His bride, the Church.
Here are a few thoughts about the location determination process…
If (that city/neighborhood/people group) is on your heart, it’s probably there for a reason.
God promises to give wisdom when you ask (see James 1:5). From dreams to job interviews, a seemingly coincidental run-in in the Clarksville mall with a retired-Baptist-preacher-turned-real-estate-agent, and miraculous funding along the way, God directed us to Clarksville. I have no doubt He will direct you too, as you pray, listen, take notes, and follow Him into the unknown. But buckle up. It will take longer, be harder, and stretch you further than you realized.
Walk until you can’t.
I once heard someone say, “When you can’t see far, go as far as you can see.” You may not know the timing or destination just yet, but you can at least plan a weekend trip to (the aforementioned city/neighborhood/people group) with your spouse or some friends, and attend a church or two and pray. If nothing else, you got a cool weekend trip out of it and checked a potential location off your list. That’s worth an airline ticket and a hotel reservation!
Base your plans on God’s calendar, not your own.
Determining time and location may take a while, but God’s timing is best. From the time that Jenn and I started praying about planting until the time we actually moved was about 3 years. For some, it’s longer, and for some, it’s shorter. Whatever your timeline is, don’t rush it, but also don’t drag your feet when it’s time to go.
Confidence comes through praying, believing, and stepping.
Although it took us years to determine the location and timeline, and although we’ve been through a flood and lots of other challenges in the first 9 years, we tell people all the time, “We are right where we are supposed to be.” I want that same confidence for you. It only comes when you consistently pray and believe, then let your faith direct your steps.
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