It has been nearly three years since Jerry and I turned over our church in Charlotte. In that time, Jerry and I believe that we have followed our Shepherd as we served in a variety of ministry assignments, with each of those assignments allowing us to be close to family. For a year and a half it was in the Kentucky and Ohio area with my parents and sister and visits with family in northern Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. For another year and half it will be here in Baton Rouge with our kids. As a ministry couple that has lived in and traveled to many places, both in the United States and abroad, Jerry and I are thankful for the past few years with family. God has purpose for our family, purpose that has rewards and responsibilities.
God is the one who thought up the idea of family. He places a high value on our family networks. God gives purpose for family – to love, to support, to care, to protect, to guide and to provide for one another. Family ties are among the strongest of bonds in relationship that we can have.
Whether you come from a healthy family or not, I believe the local church is like a family for all the same reasons – to love, to support, to care, to protect, to guide and to provide for one another. Just as there are dysfunctional families, there can be dysfunctional churches. Natural families can be good at hiding their issues, and so can churches. Jerry and I believe that we are called to plant churches. We’ll be starting another one in the next year. Above all that we could ever do as a church, we want to be a healthy church family. We want those relationships to begin in our team. We want authentic and honest relationships with our staff. We want them to have the freedom to express their feelings and opinions, as well as the liberty to express their gifts in honor of one another. We want to support one another in our times of strength and in our times of weakness. We want to genuinely care for one another, not just work with one another, but to have personal relationships with each other. We want our team to protect one another in honor, to have each other’s back. I want our team to be able to give a healthy perspective to one another to help guide them in their decisions. We want the team to be provided for, having everything they need for an abundant and happy life.
In all that we dream about for a new church plant, authentic relationships developed in the love of Christ is a primary focus. We believe God is already working His plan, bringing the right people together for such a time as this!