Short term is obviously the Utah thing - paying off debt, getting to square one so that I can do ministry unhindered. I feel like a majority of ministry majors could benefit from doing what I'm going to be doing. Debt is such a chain.
Long term, I shared with him my dream of planting a church in New England (around the Boston area) in 2013. I'll be thirty by that time and should have at least 5.5 years of full time ministry under my belt, as well as be ordained (the next step past liscensing) by the Assemblies of God. I'm blessed to be at a church that has leadership that sees the call of God in such things. Pastor Rob doesn't know me that well, honestly, but he heard where I came from and a little bit of my heart. And he encouraged me, he gave me advice that he put through his "Son" filter (he'll only give advice he would give to his own sons).
This wasn't a meeting of specifics, but rather a meeting of dreamcasting. I need men of God like Pastor Rob to support me as I approach this. Seven years is a long time, but without good wisdom it might as well be tomorrow.
I hope in the near future to share some details about what I see the church looking like, specifically related to
- Initial target group of the church.
- At what point intentionally expanding the target demographics would be possible and/or appropriate.
- How the initial target group will naturally evolve into broader groups, i.e. young marrieds with no kids to families that give the Amish a run for their money number wise.
- Building a community with broad demographics in which the mixture doesn't seem forced (this intimidates me!)
- Initial leadership structure of the church.
- The role of the Pastor
- Understanding of Elders/Deacons
- Primary ministry focuses and responsibilities
- Initial financial planning of the church.
- Fundraising options.
- The reality of "tent making" as the church starts.
- Building a culture of obedient, joyful giving.
- The difficulty of Midwest "Modern" Fundamentalist Mindset vs. East Coast Post-Modern Mindset.
Off to the land of the Mormons to prepare - 2 weeks left. And my soul is weeping for the friends I'll leave behind.