Saturday, January 10, 2009


I was called out here to Shafter, California to help plant a church; New Hope Community Church. Church planting can be a real challenge, especially when you are in a brand new community and don’t know a single soul. Add to that ignorance the fact that the brand new community is 75% Latino and you have a bizillion cultural things to learn in addition to meeting a ton of new people. How does one go about meeting new people in a new town? How do you walk the cultural lines without offending people? And how do you plant a new church without giving in to all the gimmickry that is going around in church planting circles these days?

The core group that called us out here is completely White. They are wonderful people. We have fallen in love with them and they are working very hard to do all the things necessary to plant a church. I thank God for them just about every day. They are a joy.

We’ve been blessed with several new families, three of whom are Hispanic. That is very exciting for me because I have a deep passion to see Whites and Latinos in one church worshiping together. I’m just not sure I know how to do that. There have been a couple of long conversations with one of the Mexican ladies who has come. She is very doubtful that we will be successful in attracting and keeping many Latinos if the church is perceived as a “White” church. I’m praying that she will see that it is possible and that perhaps the Lord will use her to bring many of her friends and acquaintances into New Hope.

I invite just about everyone I meet to come and see what the Lord is doing at New Hope. Someone (not in our fellowship) actually suggested that we should put an ad in the paper and offer money prizes to the first 25 new people who come to our worship service. I’ve heard of churches offering gas coupons, leather jackets, even a motorcycle! I’m sorry. I just can’t even begin to go there.

These kinds of things are almost always on my mind. I am constantly praying that the Lord will cause me to see what he wants me to do; that he will give me the insights I need to be able to reach out to people with the love of Jesus and bring them in.

Then tonight I read this in Proverbs 3:3-6. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I think that should about do it! Thank you, Lord!


At 5:29 AM, Blogger jazzycat said...

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Amen. Lord Christ, make it so!


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