Seriously. What did I sign up for?” I asked myself, as I tend to talk to myself quite a bit these days. At that very moment, I was lying face down in our living room, more than likely having Dutch’s (our Husky) dog hair tickling my nose. I had nowhere else to turn it seemed. And then the Holy Spirit whispered, “I am still here, Megan.” I don’t know why but he always calls me by my full first name… not the shortened version that my husband, parents, brothers and friends call me.
It was the middle of September. We had pre-launched our church (a tester version of our grand opening) only weeks before and we were soon actually launching our first “official” Sunday in the building. God had been going before us, paving the way, and it seemed that we were sprinting trying to keep up with Him. Our team was solid, a building was provided (in fact- two locations connected by a staircase), funding from a church planting organization, a state church planting network, several churches and even individual donors and most importantly, we were seeing God MOVE in the hearts of people around us. We began to look for God’s provision in everything! And we kept seeing it!
We spent months cleaning, painting and remodeling the two locations (one was a former Republican headquarters… and the larger location… a warehouse that had been used as a dog boarding facility- yes, the smell was horrendous!) Churches sent teams to help paint and scour the place… it looked like an entirely new building. (The disgusting smell of dog feces was gone!) A young woman stepped up to take the children’s ministry position. A worship leader came out of the woodwork and was able to take some responsibility off my plate. A drummer was found (this was indeed important!) Two of my Stud-Muffin’s friends from college moved their families down to help us plant the church. God was providing right and left and we were desperately trying to keep up. (Did I mention that already?)
But then doubt crept into our team. Sickness cropped up and people became discouraged. Fears ran amuck and soon there was disillusionment and dysfunction creeping in to what God had provided. It sickened me. I watched my husband handle each situation with grace and patience. (This man amazes me! How was I so lucky?)
And then I found myself, face in the hairy carpet, panic in my heart and tears in my eyes. I was SICK of people allowing Satan to coddle their fears. I had one team member say to me, “This is so hard for me… this (gestures to the God-given building that was on its way to being habitable) is so not me.” That was only the first of the comments that were made to my husband and I. Soon, one of our dear team members became disillusioned and disheartened and bowed out of her position and our church. I felt like our team was becoming rancid. I realized that I was beginning to listen to Satan’s lies and was becoming hardened to what God had created in our church. And then the Holy Spirit reminded me of something.
Jesus came to our world in the dirtiest of conditions. The men who followed him and became his disciples were smelly and used to hard work. They travelled far to follow Him. And then when He was gone, there was even more work to do. Our church is based around the John 10:10 verse, “The thief has come to kill, steal and destroy. But I have come to have life and have it to the full!”
I laid in that carpet, my boys playing ninjas in the next room, and wept. I had forgotten why God desired this church, here, in this town, at this time. To reach others. It was not about me. It was not about my team. It was REALLY not about the building. It was about bringing those who do not know Jesus into a relationship with Him. THAT is why my husband began praying years ago for God to lead him wherever God could use him. THAT is why I had followed my husband, and ultimately my God all over the country. THAT is the only reason.
Today, our team has banded together. We are stronger. We have become a family. We are on the way to full trust and reliance on each other. It is beautiful. And that day I laid facedown in the carpet is just another notch in my proverbial belt in church planting. I have a feeling…. it won’t be the last time! 🙂