Lately, this seems to be one of the most common questions we hear. So, I wanted to take a moment to explain where we are on our journey, and how we got here.
For the past 10 years, we have served at Miner Baptist. We were intimately involved in a number of ministries there, and loved our fellow church people dearly. Sometime in late 2008, we began to both sense that our time at Miner was coming to a close. In July of 2009, a very clear moment came where
God just told us it was time to go. The interesting thing was He didn’t tell us where. We just knew it was time to go, so I met with the staff and let them know, and they sent us with their blessing.
That began one of the most life-changing journeys for us spiritually. We began to walk a path of exploring the idea of introducing southeast Missouri to the family-integrated church model by planting a new church. We began to read great books like Family Driven Faith, research websites like www.ncfic.org, and we began to visit a number of family-integrated churches that were close enough to drive to. We met so many incredible people with incredible families, and it was unmistakable that whatever they were doing was working and working well. With the counsel of Dick Smith, John Vernon, and Jim Barnhart, we continued to press on with the idea of planting a new mission church in our area. We even looked at possible sites, and met with a number of interested families. We were also incredibly blessed to attend the FIC / Church Reformation conference in Houston, hosted by Voddie Baucham’s church, and we got to attend Grace Family Baptist Church.
What was interesting was before we ever left Miner, we were told of a class being held at Trinity on Sunday evenings. It was an age-integrated class on the book Love and Respect. We began to attend the class and loved it. Out of some unexplainable interest, I began to meet with the pastor over lunches, and we would discuss things about our different church journeys. We took time to discuss theology, family-integration, church structure, adoption...you name it. What was interesting was that a number of the people that were looking for a family-integrated church were being led to Trinity.
After we got back from Houston in November of 2009, we started working to get our first meetings as a church started. What we found was that several of our families from the Cape area decided it would be best if they met in Cape as a separate group, which we agreed was best. The remaining families in Sikeston all had obstacles that would keep them from doing anything in the immediate future. It was like God was saying to us, “not now…I have something else for you to do.” And we were overcome with the feeling that we were to dedicate our service at Trinity. I even discussed this with one of my ‘wise older counselors’ that felt that God was leading us in that direction.
Therefore, in response to this direction, we approached the pastor at Trinity and pretty much told him the whole story. And we asked if it would be acceptable for us to dedicate our time there for as long as God willed it. And to our delight, we were welcomed with open arms. We have since moved our membership to Trinity, and have put the church plant on indefinite hold. God may call us to pick it back up, and He may not. We just want to be obedient, and we have been called to lead and shepherd, and we want to do so wherever that may be.
We just feel that it was very clear that this was the direction we were to take. We hope to get more involved at Trinity and get to know all the members as family. So far, the experience has been wonderful, and while we miss our old church family at Miner, it is clear that God has brought us to where we are.
The past 8 months have been quite an adventure. We have grown so much spiritually and as a family. There have been a lot of moments where we were not sure what direction God was pushing us, but He was always faithful to come through and make our path clear, sometimes at the last minute. Even if we are never directed to begin working on the church plant ever again, the experiences that we have gained along the way have all been invaluable.
We are excited to have started this new chapter in our lives at Trinity, and we look forward to see what God has in store for us there. We hope that this answers everyone's questions regarding where we are and why. We just encourage everyone to be willing to follow God's direction. It may not lead where you want or where you expect, but it is always for your best!