Compelled To Go

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

In 1995, a church planter from Illinois shared his vision for his church plant.  His metaphor was compelling: if you were going to start a restaurant,  you’d at least have three employees–a chef, a waitress, and a cashier.  Why would you start a church with just one guy (a pastor)?

For the previous eight years I had unknowingly served in the church planting minor leagues, getting ready for the big.  While leading the outreach and discipleship of two congregations, my heart resonated most with God’s people who didn’t yet know they were God’s people.  So when Mr. Chicago came to town and played his pipe, I sorely wanted to follow.

I went south instead.  Home to Texas and my wife’s hometown of Houston.  Found a cashier, a couple waitresses and some other chefs and started CrossPoint Community Church.  A crazy place full of divinely down-home cooking.  We started another diner in ‘07.  Cafe #3 should launch in January ‘11.

In the course of the last decade, I have rubbed spatulas with a bunch of other chefs attempting restaurant starting. Theirs is a difficult calling, creating menus the public desires to taste, yet including the necessary ingredients so they don’t leave feeling empty. Calls for a healthy dose of First Article truths with at least one each of Second and Third.

One of the most exciting but exhausting careers has to offer.  No doubt.

Some of them, like myself, have been fortunate enough to cook in fast-growing suburbs.  Others are planted in some of the most antagonistic communities in the US.  All of them can tell of disappointments that made them question and wonder their ability to cook.  But all of them also have restaurant stories that make diner building the most exciting thing on earth.

This blog is a gathering of learnings and insights from the past decade of listening and cooking, of failing and succeeding.  It is written for those who slave in the kitchen, passionately laboring for people they’ve never met.

Thank you for the work you do.  Thank you for firing before aiming, for leaping before looking, for being convinced that Jesus died for all, and for responding to His compelling call.

You are my dear friends.

You are great, great men of God.

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