I Quit Going to Church

Dear Church, I’m super-excited about us being a part of planting a new church in Osawatomie!!! And it’s been so good for me to have a front-row seat to Pastor Dale’s leadership in this effort. Here’s what I’ve seen in him that has been good for me:
  • Dreaming in faith – Dale is daring to dream a God-sized dream for something that doesn’t exist at all yet and daring to believe that the God that is giving him the dream is going to bring it to fruition.
  • A sense of desperation – Dale knows that if this church plant is going to take root and bear fruit for God’s Kingdom, God is going to have to lead, provide, empower, etc. So, Dale has been praying and fasting and seeking the Lord with all his heart.
  • Working the ground – Dale knows that, though God must produce the harvest, he must work the field. So, he’s been doing all he can to plow the ground (build relationships in the community): attend ball games, attend (and volunteer at) community events, join the Chamber of Commerce, coach kids’ rec-league basketball, go to the gym, etc., etc.
  • Investing in his team – Dale has been meeting with the folks from GC that have said, “We want to be part of this effort” – talking, training, praying, dreaming, building relationships, etc. He knows it’s going to take “teamwork to make the dream work”!
  • A willingness to sacrifice – Dale left a full-time job (pastoring a church) and a full-time pay package to come here and get paid a part-time salary to lead the effort of launching this new work.
There’s more, but I think that gives you the idea. The reason it’s been good for me to have this front-row seat is because I never, ever want to forget all the things of which Dale is reminding me. Though GC is now an established work and has a decades-long track record of experiencing God’s leadership, provision and empowerment, and though it’s taken (and still takes) a lot of hard work and some level of sacrifice, I NEVER want us to take that for granted -- to lose the sense of desperation for God to be at work and the willingness to pray and fast, to lose the hunger to reach new people in our community who need to know the life-transforming love of Christ and the willingness to go where they are, to be willing to dream a God-sized dream and trust God to make it happen, to be willing to mutually encourage and equip one another for the work God has called us to do, etc., etc., etc. Thanks, Dale (and Julie, and your kids, and your team) for adding fuel to the fire in my heart – helping keep me burning hot for the work God has called us to do – the work of BEING the church!!!   Desperate, Joel