Week 1: Maps
Our lives are made of stories, some of which began well before you were even born. What are four or five of the stories that show your journey to this point in your life?
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God didn’t lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, even though that was the shorter route. God thought, If the people have to fight and face war, they will run back to Egypt. So God led the people by the roundabout way of the Reed Sea desert. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt ready for battle.” Exodus 13:17-18, Common English Bible (CEB)
“I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
How did you get here?
By this point in your church planting journey, you’ve no doubt crafted and polished a fairly satisfying answer to that question. But there’s a hidden story, too. There are things you intentionally leave out, parts you prefer not to think about.
What if someone else were writing your history, and knew all the secret thoughts, private misgivings, and wrong turns that don’t typically make it into the stories more commonly shared with the Board of Ordained Ministry? How might that map of your journey be even more powerful in the world than the two-minutes-smiling version?
And what if your story were not, in fact, made up of series of singular shining (or even dark) moments, but instead was simply built of a thousand upon a thousand frightened, then weary and dust-covered footsteps into an unknown place?
How might that story be the most powerful of all?
Sunday: One Thousand Dusty Footsteps
Reframe your journey toward church planting. What might be the “thousand dusty footsteps” that you made on your way here? What were some of the trudging — even fearful — but certainly “non-Hollywood” markings on your true map?
Share some of the lower, dustier moments on your journey with your church planting peers today. Can you tell these stories in a way that both accepts and honors these parts of your travels?