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5 Essentials BEFORE Taking a Leap of Faith

October 10, 2011

These are based on my experience starting a church and then recently accepting a position requiring my family to move across the country.

 1) Talk to Others

My heart was strongly telling me to “start the new church”. But I took two years to confirm my “call”. Fast decisions increase the likelihood of leaving God out. I talked with my pastor, other senior pastors, fellow church planters, friends, and family. It’s tempting to only talk with people who will tell you what you want to hear. Resist the urge to decide in private what will soon become public. “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” – Prov. 11:14

 2) Prepare your family

The process can be extremely challenging to your marriage. Ginger & I did everything we knew to do going into our adventure with our “eyes wide open”. We talked with others who had taken the step we were going take. If your wife’s going along but not personally excited about it, I believe YOU’RE NOT READY. I agree with Artie Davis’ formula: You+Vision+Passion – Support of wife = ZERO. Inviting your family into the entire process is critical.

 3) Have relational support in place

I remember the “morning after” my last Sunday at my former church. I felt overwhelmed. Suddenly, I was hit with a wall of emotion screaming “What have you done!?!” Immediately, I called a friend who talked sense into me reminding me of God’s clear leading. It helped me to have a mentor, some colleagues (already doing what I was about to do), and a supporting organization.

4) Plan to work hard

The day I resigned to start a church my personal salary went from $70K to $24K. I had a family of six. My wife and I worked “extra” jobs. When our CPA completed our year-end taxes she said we had the most W-2’s (11) she had ever seen. God provided everything we needed. But He chose to provide through our hard work.

5) Be open to a “Plan B” 

I planned to start a church and pastor it forever. God had me start a church then close it to prepare for me my current role. My current role is proving to be a more exciting opportunity than I could have ever imagined or planned for. I leaped and all along God was in complete control. God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours.

Pete Wilson wrote a GREAT book entitled Plan B. I’m convinced that my Plan B was God’s Plan A. Maybe your Plan B will not include moving to an unexpected city but your future will certainly have unexpected twists and turns. Embrace it for what it is . . . God’s adventure for you.

“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

What preparatory steps would you add? Which step is most difficult for you?

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