Our journey to Georgetown began two years ago, really from the time we joined Antioch Conway. We talked to Jason Aultman, Antioch’s pastor, about church membership, and he told us that we would need to take Antioch 101, so we attended the next class, which just happened to be the same class that Andy and Erin were in.
After class Andy asked if we would like to come to the small group they were starting in a couple weeks. Dana was a little nervous about going to a small group and being the “new people,” so this was the perfect opportunity for us to get in on the ground floor of a small group. At the time, I was doing some online Bible/seminary classes and the subject being introduced that week was church ministry roles. As I began looking at the curriculum, I saw “pastor,” “evangelist,” “missionary,” “praise leader,” etc. until I got to “church planter,” and I distinctly remember thinking, “What a boring job. I hope I am never called to anything like that. I mean you leave everyone you know and start new and you don’t even get to say you’re going somewhere cool like the missionaries: ‘God’s called us to Macedonia, or the Philippines, or China.’” No, you would be saying, “God called us to Podunk, USA.”
Well, fast forward to that following Sunday, and as Andy and I were sitting on his couch, I asked him what exactly his role was at Antioch. I knew he was part of the church staff, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I remember Andy saying he was a “church planter“…”group”…”plant a church”…”Texas.” Now, I did not use the dots to shorten the sentence; those were the words I couldn’t hear over God’s laughter! As a matter of fact, the rest of the night seemed to be a blur, because I was having this internal dialogue with God, but trying not to be that guy staring into space mumbling to himself.
I made it through the night, and after our car doors closed as I was pulling my seat belt across my chest, I turned and looked at my wife and said, “Do you have the feeling we are going to be moving to Texas?” To which she replied with a stern but simple “NO.” I thought, “Good, maybe I’m just crazy.” Well, as the weeks continued, and we spent more time with our small group, God’s calling grew from what I was able to pass off as a coincidence to something I couldn’t deny. I said something else to Dana about it, and still she didn’t feel that God was calling us to Texas. I felt so frustrated because I knew this was what God was calling us to do, and I couldn’t figure out why she was saying no.
For about a week I really focused on this aspect and what I needed to do to change her mind until one day during my quite time, God reintroduced my brain to the concept of thinking, and it occurred to me that maybe God had not told her yet. So with a little prompting from her I stopped trying to talk her into it. Instead, part of every prayer I said for about a year went something like this: “Lord, I feel that you are calling us to Georgetown, and I know there is no way I can convince Dana to go, so if we are supposed to go, you tell her.” Not the exact words, but that’s the gist of it. Then I would proceed to pray for our lives there and the church ministry and our part in that church ministry. But as time drew nearer and with less than four months until the first of the group would be leaving, I started thinking, “Well, Lord, the time is almost here. I think you probably would have told Dana by now. We’re almost out of time!” So I shifted my prayers from including us in that ministry to just praying for what God wanted us to do and for those involved in Antioch Georgetown.
I’m pretty sure that prayer was on a Thursday afternoon, and I didn’t see Dana again until Saturday afternoon when she turned to me while we are in the kitchen and asked, “So what are you thinking about Texas?” And so began a dialogue that would drastically change the course we had set for our lives from that discussion to now as I am writing about our journey to Georgetown.
We have experienced so many feelings and emotions. From utter helplessness to overwhelming excitement and joy. From thinking “what are we doing,” to having assured confidence. From daydreaming of our lives there to staring down what appears to be a logistical nightmare comprised of finances and jobs and housing and schools all held together with a good portion of “what if’s”. All the while God has reminded us that He is faithful. Through this torrent of emotions we have gotten to see just how intimately God is pursuing us.
We have seen how He is using this experience to grow us together and towards Him. Just how fortunate we are to have this blessing, is not lost on us. The things God has planned in Georgetown Texas are great and the fact that we get to be a part of it is awesome. Which is why I can now say how excited, blessed and completely not bored I am to be helping plant a church for God in Georgetown Texas.