Notes from my journal
(This Sunday we celebrate 10
years of ministry in Detroit.)
Things I’m learning today
… that I had NO clue about 10 years ago.
You kids are capable of SO much more than you can even begin to imagine!
- When we begin, we had three little girls (ages 12, 8 and 4). Since then, we have added to boys! So, we are now: Mariah 22, Courtney 18, Zoe 14, Maximus 9 and Chase 8.
- They have had to adjust to various types of schooling (public school, home school, charter school, online school).
- They have had to adjust to various types of sports leagues (Upward, Homeschool, PAL, Community).
- They have had to adjust to various types of church buildings, leaders, people & programs (Hamtramck, Midtown, Mexicantown … Bars, Apartment Penthouse, Nightclubs, Bowling Allies, Church buildings).
- THEY ALL LOVE GOD — LOVE THEIR PARENTS — LOVE EACH OTHER — LOVE THE LOST — LOVE CHURCH — LOVE THE MINISTRY!
- My adult daughters are leading ministry with joy and passion. And my younger kids can’t wait to be at church or at outreach or whatever is happening! They LOVE IT!
- They’ve had people come in and out of their lives. They have seen people fail. They certainly are eye-witnesses to my flaws & short-comings.
- But, they have also seen hundreds & hundreds come to know Jesus. They have seen miracles. They have seen, experienced and expressed unconditional love.
- And, most important, they EACH have a very real, personal, relationship with Christ.
I can’t even imagine all that God is doing and about to do IN and THROUGH each of their lives. They are my heroes!
Blood is thicker than water, but Spirit is thicker than blood.
- This is a quote from my friend, Pastor Tim Dilena — he spoke this in reference to our family & friends in the faith.
- One of the hardest things about being in full-time ministry is living far away from your family. Netta has family in Colorado and Kansas; I have family in Missouri, Minnesota and Georgia.
- So, we are rarely with our natural families – especially when most people enjoy these times: holidays, birthdays and special events.
- As much as we miss our natural family, our lives and home are filled with spiritual brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, sons and daughters. There’s a bond with those we serve with, that God has given us, that is powerful, personal and awesome!
- We hope our kids will always live close and serve alongside us but if God leads them away — we are confident that He will surround them with spiritual family.
Thank you to BOTH our natural and spiritual families. WE LOVE YOU!
God doesn’t always lead through policy manuals, flow-charts and business plans.
- Yes, I know that God is a God of order. But, I also know that sometimes ministry can be (or appear to be) messy, crazy and chaotic.
- We’re working with people not machines. People are weird. People break down suddenly. People change. People die.
- Our processes may not allow for the unpredictable wonderfulness, found in people.
- Yes, we should have a plan. There should be organization.
- But, we also must recognize that discipleship cannot be done in vacuum or delegated. It’s personal and every person is different.
Spirituality is a mixed-up, topsy-turvy, helter-skelter godliness that turns our lives into an upside-down toboggan ride of unexpected turns, surprise bumps and bone shattering crashes … a life ruined by a Jesus who loves us right into his arms. Mike Yanconelli
Yes, I will still trust the policies, constitution and by-laws, programs, and plans created by amazing servants of the Lord. But, I will not be limited by these things. They are the launchpad not the rocket ship!
IF you missed Part One, be sure to scroll down!