Starting with Prayer1
One of Paul’s final exhortations to the Philippian church is to not “…worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In the lead up to June 26th, this exhortation came alive to me in ways that it never has before (not that it’s never alive and applicable but the situation made it all the more real).
“6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
In the life of a church there will never be a shortage of opportunities to make a memory. I will never forget June 26, 2019. On this day, Kilbride Community Church held it’s first prayer walk. It was a day that was filled with numerous emotions: anxiety, excitement, uncertainty, awe, fear and the list goes on.
Out of all of these, anxiety topped the charts. I’ll come back to that in a second.
When you plant a new church, there tends to be a lot of brainstorming and talking and collaboration and discussion which, hopefully, leads to getting your hands and feet dirty. Regardless of what you are doing or where you are in life, we are called to pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray in all circumstances. Pray in everything. Never stop praying.
I think Martin Luther said it the best:
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
Can I get an amen?
And so, on June 26th, my anxiety was higher than normal. I’m not an overly anxious guy, it’s just that the circumstances to have an anxious mind was more prevalent. You might be thinking, ‘Come on Matt, it was just a prayer walk!” You are right. It was just a prayer walk.
But it was also more than just a prayer walk.
For me, it was the first event that Kilbride Community Church put off. It was the first time that people gathered under the banner of Kilbride Community Church. It was the first time that I had to step up as the church planter of Kilbride Community Church. For me, the rubber met the road and the realization of what we are trying to do really was really heavy upon me. That’s why I was anxious.
Who am I that the Lord would be mindful of me? (Psalm 8:4-8) Out of 7 billion people on the planet, why would God choose me to plant a church? I will probably never get an answer to these questions this side of Heaven, but it’s enough to humble me.
There’s not only the personal element but also the communal and spiritual element.
We have begun laying a foundation of prayer over Kilbride; the sermons I will soon start preparing will be for the people of Kilbride; the programs and pathways we implement will be for Kilbride. Kilbride Community Church (KCC) is for Kilbride.
And so, for me to be at the helm of this small, tiny ship is overwhelming. That's what I'm trying to say - it's not and it never will be about me (it's all for His glory) - it's just that, the reality of making pastoral decisions and forging ahead in new territory from scratch...is in some ways overwhelming and in others, anxiety inducing.
I mentioned in a previous post how I felt like God was moving me along a conveyor belt slowly assembling me and equipping me for ministry.
On June 26, 2019 I felt like another part was added.