Our Calling to Plant
“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” I think John Lennon got it right with this one, as has been proven in my life many times over. When my wife Michelle and I went to the A1K Regional event in Seattle in July, I thought I was there to gather information on the Greenhouse Model in order to help support our friend Christina in her efforts to plant at Fresno State. At least that was what my Bishop had asked me to do.
Michelle and I had moved back to California in 2010 in response to God’s calling us to plant. Though He spoke clearly to come home, He did not attach a time line. So life continued happening as we settled back into the Diocese of San Joaquin. Then Bishop Eric Menees asked me to serve as his point person for planting in the diocese (based solely on passion to plant, but no experience in doing it).
This moved us one step closer, and so it was we traveled to Seattle to continue to explore our own call while serving in a supportive role for the diocese. What happened next speaks to God’s goodness. From the very first session God began unraveling His plan, and it began with blessing Michelle. Many of her questioning prayers were answered through the various talks, and then William met with us one on one to hear our story.
His encouragement and blessing over our mutual call to reach out to those from our recovery background cemented the most essential component for our moving forward. Michelle came to embrace the truth that indeed this is a mutual call and that she has gifts that are essential to where God is leading us in the harvest.
Our two-day breakout with folks exploring the Greenhouse Model was a huge blessing. There was tremendous unity and mutual support as the reality of what God is doing through Greenhouse sunk in. And then we all began to catch a vision for how we could plug in. By the time we got on the plane, we knew with excitement that our participation with Greenhouse in our diocese was going to be much more than supportive.
Since Seattle, the conversations have begun so that our diocese can move forward with Greenhouse. Since starting the first congregation is the hardest step, we’re going to try to begin with two – Christina at Fresno State and us in Bakersfield reaching out those in recovery, or in need of it. The timing is still God’s, as we seek to lay a good foundation that will hopefully open the way for others to follow.
There are still several details that need to be worked out – such as what the relationship between this new work and the church where I am the assistant will be. Yet, we trust that life will continue to happen as we keep our eyes on Him and follow His plan for us out into the harvest.
Mark Hall is the Assistant at Trinity Anglican Church in Bakersfield, CA and he assists Bishop Eric Menees with the Church Planting efforts of the Diocese of San Joaquin. He is happily married to Michelle and they are raising three energetic kids.
Originally published by Greenhouse