My wife and I planted Coastline Calvary Chapel in Destin, FL in April of 2010. At that time I was serving on staff as the Executive Pastor of Coastline Calvary Chapel in Gulf Breeze (a 60 minute drive unless HWY 98 [the only hwy] isn’t a parking lot filled with touring visitors from the southeast), the church my father founded in 1983; the church in which I was born, raised, & had the privilege of serving for 7.5 years.
From 2010 until February 2013, I maintained my pastoral responsibilities in Gulf Breeze, during the week and commuted to Destin to teach a small, but growing fellowship on the weekends. Although it wasn’t that long ago that we began the work, it feels like a lifetime. So much has happened, both in me & through me as a church planter. We’ve had tremendous HIGH’S – like hosting Phil Wickham’s 1st ever Outdoor Mall Outreach in 2010 as the sun set on a Easter Sunday in which nearly 2,000 attended – & tremendous LOWS – like our CORE team leaving the church 1 yr into the plant.
If I could do it again… I would…
Trust JESUS with JESUS’ Church.
Like Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:25-34 … worry does nothing for us & don’t miss this… the God of the universe is FOR us. That fact should change the way your face looks. We should trust Jesus with HIS church, I mean it’s His blood-bought bride, not mine. If I could do it again… I would like to say that I would trust JESUS with JESUS’ church & spend more time praying and less time worrying, because what JESUS says is true: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Enjoy the Season I’m In.
Each season of life and ministry brings it’s own unique BLESSINGS and BUMMERS. At the ripe old age of 31, with 3 daughters, & the honor of pastoring a small-growing church I’ve learned something. Seasons change… & when they’re done, they’re done. Although the planting season can bring it’s bummers it also brings tremendous blessings. Enjoy them, b/c when it’s over it’s over.
Not Change a Thing.
I am so thankful that I will never see the two eternal parallel lines of “God’s Sovereignty” and “Man’s Responsibility” intersect on this side of eternity, it’s a mystery in how it all works, & to be honest… I am okay with that. Although I could share with you the MANY MANY mistakes I’ve made, dumb things I’ve said & done, I am so grateful that God uses it all. He is in control & I know that He’s bigger than my mistakes because, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”