If you've stumbled here you are going to find something possibly shocking...If you are not shocked then that could only mean that I have already talked to you about this.
How do you live your life? Do you just accept - there is grace in that. There is the contentment of "come what may" (Philippians 4:11) I will live my life faithfully. There is blessing in a life of quiet peace (1 Timothy 2:2; James 3:17). But that doesn't mean a plain and meaningless, adventureless life. In fact Paul who wrote two of three of the above verse lived anything but a "cottage in the fair woods" sort of existence.
So I've struggled with how "comfortable" to get...All my life. I struggle with reaching a point where life is easy. I lived in the Mecca called Hamilton ("my town" as I called it) for nearly 10 years. I loved it...I knew most everyone there and the few I didn't know, knew me. I was a big fish in a small pond. With God's help and the blessings of good people, we made a difference in that little world. We could have stayed there and continued to build that good people and made quite a legacy. But I started to feel to comfortable - like I should/could influence more.
About that time the opportunity came to move to work with the renowned Granny White church. It was the "holy place" in the "holy city" - the "temple" in 'Jerusalem". There are, maybe 10, possibly 20, congregations in our brotherhood that are "known" everywhere. And these peoples' faith is spoken of everywhere. To help that church regain it's vitality - to be a part of a sudden movement - to influence the energies of a church that had struggled after a great history but was now awakening. So we moved and with God and timing and some of the best people I've ever met - things moved! It's been a wonderful 9 years!
Well, I feel comfortable. We could stay here and continue to fight the ultra's - we could be happy for a long time - walking with giants in a place where even midgets become giants...but here goes...
Back roughly 6 years ago now a man who I did not know came into my office and unfolded a dream to me. He told me of the growth in Spring Hill and the projections for the growth over the next 15 years or so. He told me there was virtually no congregation with a mind to grow in that area and that he and some others from a couple of faithful congregations in South Nashville and Franklin, who were living in Spring Hill were going to plant a congregation to take that city and the many young families there for Christ. He told me they wanted me to be their preacher - I assured him I was not his man He told me they would be back in touch with me.
That infant congregation began meeting in November. They have purchased 35 acres on I-65 that they will be developing into their church campus over the next several years. They are averaging about 85 in attendance in the little building that was designed to seat roughly, well, 85.
I cannot believe I am doing this, it was not a dream of mine - but it has become a passion. Spring Hill is the 14th fastest growing city in the US.
When I was much younger I often lamented how we would take our most experienced, our older ministers and they would be hired and paid well by the healthiest of congregations - and that we take our young bucks and send them to churches with no elders and limited resources. What I am going to be attempting is well, a risk, it is either the most courageous thing I've ever done or the craziest.
It will have always been one of the great privileges of my life to have worked with the numerous Godly people that make up the Granny White church. It has been one of the thrills of my life to stand in that pulpit - to grow comfortable with the giants of the faith that inhabit those pews. Regularly I'll introduce myself "I'm Dale Jenkins" (and that'll mean little) then, I'll say, "I preach at the Granny White congregation" and suddenly I'm important- The ego that comes from that has been one of the challenges to my faith that made coming to this decision challenging.
To stand in this pulpit each week has been a phenomenal challenge! The history of this great church - I wish this opportunity did not intrigue me - I wish it had come 5 years later but IÂd rather leave happy than angry.
This is not in any way about unhappiness or frustration here - I am not unhappy with the elders or church here - nor am I running from anything. This is about a dream - an opportunity - a vision.
In one of our elders' meetings a few years back an elder asked if we'd ever considered "swarming" starting a new congregation. I thought it was crazy - a new church in Nashville! Over the next few years as I looked at how the outlaying areas have grown I've wondered who was going to reach those many families moving into our area.
I want my two sons going into ministry to see that there is value in risk!
I want my life to count - to mean more - to be a part of building something great for the Lord. I want this risk.
I want to leave you happy - not where you wish I was leaving and wonder why I havenÂcourageously I want to live couragously...
So on June 4 this announcement will be made and on July 23 we will begin working at the Spring Meadows church - A PLACE OF VISION.
So, will you pray for us? And if you've stumbled onto this site accidentially ... prior to June 4, congrautlations, you are privy to a secret - shhh....