It's 7:37 on the evening of January 1, 2009. As I type I've just dropped another bite of Coolwhip oppressed pumpkin pie into my mouth...and sipped again out of what remains from a 2 liter bottle of Coke. Nice.
No regrets because I have no new year's resolutions regarding diet. It's great.
[Another sip of Coke]
[And another...man that's good]
I do have other resolutions. The highest on the list is to do less. That's right, especially as a church planting pastor. I want to do less and pray from this point forward. Don't get me wrong, 2008 was a year of tremendous growth in our prayer life. Living on the edge will do that to you even if it's not a new year's resolution. Each month we had to trust God for grocery, mortgage, and utility monies. We had to trust God for a place to meet for worship, moving once in the middle of the year with only weeks notice. We live in prayerful dependence as we spoke the good news of God's saving work through Christ Jesus to people yet unaware of God's judgment or His love.
But this year there are bigger reasons to pray more.
[Sorry, needed another sip]
After what many people would consider major "successes" in the first year of a church plant, with several conversions, growth in the church both numerically and in terms of people's maturity in the faith, and an increasing presence in the community we don't feel stronger. We feel weaker.
Now more than ever before I can see that the task it too much for a man, or a whole group of men and women for that matter. Transformation in my own heart cannot happen without His help. Transformation in this community through our meager efforts is even more crazy to imagine. Unless God shows up. Unless God's Spirit awakens men and women all across this valley to His Kingdom agenda to set right all that's wrong beginning with individual repentance and a new commitment to love God and love neighbor.
That's my new year's resolution. Less doing, more praying.
I hope you'll join me.