Letting go. This is where it all started for us. Hello, my name is Joey Roper. My family and I are missionaries in Hamburg, Germany. We previously assisted the work at Calvary Chapel Herborn, Germany for three years before the Lord called us here to Hamburg. It was toward the end of the second year there that I really began to become interested in all things concerning church planting. I was listening to teachings, reading blogs, watching some friends of mine be raised up and sent out to start new churches, and my heart was being stirred. The more I followed along, the more I desired to step out and plant a church as well. But let me first rewind…
Assisting in a work first
Back in 2006, while I was serving as the Jr. High pastor at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, I led a team on a short-term mission trip to Herborn, Germany. During that trip, the Lord began to stir my heart in regards to moving to Germany with my family as missionaries. So I began to share these things with one of my best friends who was also on the mission field. He began to share with me that if the Lord was truly leading us to move to another country and to plant a new church, it would be best to first come alongside an existing work before starting out on our own. This way we would have the chance to not only assist in the work, but we would also have the time to learn the language, the culture, the mindset of the people, and so much more before leading a work. Looking back, I am so grateful that he shared these words of wisdom with me as they have proved to be true. So in turn, I would share these words of wisdom with you as well. Especially if you are considering going to a country that you do not fluently speak the language. Take the time to come and learn the language, culture, and the mindset of the people first – this will help you in the long run. We did just that and moved to Germany in September of 2008.
Take the time to come and learn the language, culture, and the mindset of the people first.
Letting go of it
We had been serving alongside the work at CC Herborn, learning the language, developing friendships, and learning many important lessons. We had hit many “walls” that many missionaries hit in the first few years. Through these difficult times we would constantly seek the Lord if we were to remain or if He was calling us on. Time after time, He would tell us that we were to remain and to be faithful. It was after 2 ½ years of serving at CCH, that I prayed something that changed the course of our future. I surrendered church planting to the Lord. I let go of it. I put it in His hands and let Him decide if He would even call us to it or not. Once I did that, this huge “weight” was lifted from my shoulders. I can honestly say that the “weight” was not something that God had put upon me, but it was something that I did to myself. Shortly after that time, my wife and I began to pray once again if we were to remain or if He was calling us on. This time He began to speak to us that it was time to move on. After finishing three years of serving the precious people at CCH the Lord began to move us on. But where to? This will be in our next post.
May I end this post by encouraging you today? If you sense the Lord calling you to church planting and it continues to burn more and more in your heart, it may be that you need to do as I did – surrender it. Let go of it and let His will be done.
Remember that He is good and trust Him!
God Bless you!
If you sense the Lord calling you to church planting and it continues to burn more and more in your heart, it may be that you need to do as I did – surrender it. Let go of it and let His will be done.