I spent this past week visiting family in South Carolina for Thanksgiving. We saw lots of relatives, and all of them mean something special to me. But without question the two family members I wanted to see the most were my two oldest children who are both in college in South Carolina. We do not get to see each other as often as I would like, so spending several days together was a special treat. We played games together, remembered good times from the past, ate far more food than we should have and genuinely enjoyed our time together. It was the best part of my vacation.
As I reflect on what is happening in my children’s lives, I am very thankful to God for helping them mature into responsible adults who remain spiritually focused. I do not know what the future holds for my children, but I know that if they remain spiritually focused and continue to make responsible decisions, their future will be bright.
It occurs to me that church planting is much like raising kids. We pour ourselves into a new church plant instilling values and responsibility in the core group. Then we turn them loose to make their way in the Kingdom of God. When those church plants take responsibility for themselves and remain spiritually focused, they do well. When they fail to assume responsibility for themselves, or they lose their spiritual focus, they are doomed to failure. Mission strategists like myself do our best to give them all they need to get started right. But in the end, we entrust them to the hands of God and pray for them to soar to new heights. I rejoice when I see that happen and thank God that He allows me to be a part of such an exciting ministry.