The Glories of Being a Church Planter

Moses speaks of his old age longing

“Let your works be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.”  Psalm 90:16

You’ve lived your life, made your mistakes, paid your prices, celebrated your wins, mourned your losses and now you know that the sand in the top of the hour glass is less than the sand in the bottom.  Reflection becomes the dominant process of your heart. And as the great saint of God looks out over the multitudes about to enter the land, his prayer is that they would know the works of God.

Moses longed for Israel’s children to know the greatness of the God he has served since he left Egypt 40 years before. He wants  the children who weren’t there to see the sea parted,

the manna each morning for 40 years,
the endless horizon of quail,
the water cascading from a rock,
clothes and sandals not wearing out,
the ground opening up,
the lightning and thunder on the mountain,
the fading glow on Moses face—

he wants them to know the “glorious power” (vs.16).

One of the great things about church planting is it gives a church family the opportunity to pass on a larger vision of the greatness of God’s power to its children. As the reports come back of new converts won, lives rescued from the abyss, marriages saved from dis-integration, persecution endured with grace, lifestyles of drugs and alcohol and sexual immorality abandoned, and new communities penetrated with the gospel—our children see the power of God and imbibe a vision of His greatness.

Many weekends during the last few summers, I have had the privilege of attending the weddings of many of the young men and women from New Song Church. These have been celebrations as all weddings are, but for me the joy was doubled as I saw so many remarkable young men and women from my former church. Brian, Matt, Michael, Mark, Dan, Ben, Ariel, Amy, Holly–each is such a treasure and joy to their family’s and the Juthapan’s and Wangler’s, and Gaskins; and Capps’, and Smith’s, and Stacy’s have so much to be proud of in the choices and pursuits of their progeny.

I rejoice with them in the wonder and potential of their lives (and now their children’s children lives).

Last summer my own daughter married another remarkable young man (Dan) from New Song. This summer my son will marry yet another remarkable young woman (Anna) from the same church. And I remember and wonder at the fact, that all of these were raised in a church planting church that regularly saw the sacrificial giving of people and resources to reach other communities with the gospel.

They heard the stories. They experienced the wonder and they imbibed something that their counterparts in churches that don’t plant churches did not and can not. And they didn’t even know it was happening. For them, it was what a church does. Oh how I covet that for future generations.

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands!”  (Psalm 90:17, ESV)

Revised and updated from my old blog (May 2009)

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