I just finished a conversation with a loving brother in ministry, Scott (from Scotland). We spoke of how a year ago around this time we were involved in sustaining and leading a church plant alongside my now mentor, Brian Luse. The church was called Phos Hilaron.
It was warm, thorough, honest, young, met in a pub, and never boasted more than two dozen in any service…but… it did mighty things for His Kingdom nonetheless.
Phos, as my buddy and I ruminated aloud, allowed Brian to bring closure to the season of his life that was to plant a church in Southeast Portland. He was, unbeknownst to him at the time, getting ready to venture off in faith as he would, only some eight months later, pledge before God to pack up his family (4 kids) and move to Glasgow, Scotland to plant a church in the knifing capital of the world.
As Scotty and I further dawned, Phos also allowed him to be fully committed to a ministry so as not then join up in one that would still be occupying his time now. Now he is currently, prayerfully been led to seek out his Scotland-mentor’s brother who is lead pastor of a church up here in the Portland area. Scott’s now new pastor, Peter, says that he would not have needed Scott last year at this time…and would have happily and prayerfully passed him along to someone else.
So, in God’s perfect timing, Scott has found a church home and a place where his skill set is ever needed…he is set to preach his first sermon series in a few weeks, amidst his many other tasks within that body of Christ.
Like clockwork, the realizations just passed back and forth us with nothing more than sublime matter-of-factness. My best friend and girlfriend of 3 and a half years was able to see what a life with me in and around the church planting scene would look and feel like through Phos…and…from that, she was able to, among other leadings from God, discern that we were not meant to spend this life serving Him alongside one another.
As I think back to the handful of other members, we all experienced freedoms in a certain amount of ways from the end of a certain church close to our hearts.
God has assembled around Brian the numbers and passions he had been praying for to flourish the church, but instead it brought about the funeral, not the furtherment of the church.
God brought the necessary pieces to give life to something in order to instead close its’ doors forever. Through death came immense amounts of life and freedom to all…sound familiar (grin).
Praise God for endings and beginnings…as they are all one in the same to a God who devises all things for the Church of His people from before ever they existed. A simple concept and an equally simple story…but a message and lesson that rings throughout history of how our God blazes His trail of Life.