Let's be real, I have way more confessions than FIVE. But, FIVE seems to be a cool number to use in blog posts. Preachers use three points, great leadership or self esteem writers use ten steps. I'm only average as a preacher or writer or, well, anything. So, let's just use FIVE and a little sarcasm.
Confession One: It was much easier to work for another church where I got a full time paycheck, my peers got full time paychecks and lots of people already gave the finances needed to get said full time paychecks. Easier is nice. God has totally prepared us for church planting seasons. But, most church planters want to build teams and want to pay them well, they just have to figure out ways to do it. I hate asking for money, I really do. Anyway, it was just easier when asking for money each week was as simple as passing the plate. Easier is nice.
Confession Two: We worry about what everyone will think about us. See, we get our families to abandon all normalcy and step into the deep waters of wanna-be history, we ask our friends and our neighbors to rejoice in a risk they don't understand, and all the wile, we know our middle aged level headed reputation is going out the window. To your face they say, "wow, you are so brave, I just admire what you are doing", but behind our backs they are saying, "they are crazy and will probably ruin their family". I know I'm crazy, I just don't want people to think I'm crazy.
Confession Three: I'm more sure than ever that planting new spiritual families called local churches is the best use of time, money and effort. It's the best way to love people who need it, reach people who are lost and heal people who are hurting. I have seen great church happen, really great, but nothing helps more people in a city than starting new life-giving churches.
Confession Four: I probably waited too long to do this, but am secretly thankful I'm older and hopefully less stupid. I fight pride and arrogance like every other guy. I fight fear and anxiety like every other leader. We are have our degrees of stupidity with younger, but I know for sure I was high on the gifted but stupid chart. I hope, at my age and stage of life I am beginning to find wisdom and perspective. If so, I also hope things will be more powerful and pleasing to God. I still feel I waited too long, but I think God can redeem the time and seasons.
Confession Five: I am crawling with impatience. Today, for example, our team decided on a public launch date for ReImagine.Church. We have had "Information" meetings, Launch Team meetings and Prayer meetings so far. We will move into a more aggressive season of meetings as we move closer to the public launch date. We will remain in "Soft Launch" for nearly a year. The launch date will be encased in one final month of prep and two months of follow up. At that point, we plan to be meeting every Sunday with full service ministry going on, to have a Midweek program called ReEngage and a network of Small Groups and Ministries in and with the city. The launch date we tentatively decided on is Sunday, September 10th, 2017. Between now and then we have ten pages of things to do and we will be DOING MINISTRY as we build teams, training volunteers and win our city to Jesus, one person at a time. --- As I left the meeting, I agreed the team had great points about why that was a good date, but I went away feeling like it was ten years away. I'm feeling impatience and I think every church planter or business owner can understand having more vision than we can accomplish at this moment. I want to be meeting every week with full on services and a team I can grow with. I want church friends to grow old with, I want new people coming into God's Kingdom through water baptism every week and learning to serve and thrive as part of the ReImagine.Church family. I'm ready. Let's GO........
In Conclusion: I confess that I have other confessions. I felt it might be healthy for me to talk about them and right now my wife is moving from evening introverted time to sleeping. So, I guess I will talk to you, as long as I still have "more words" and everything. Help me Lord with my confessions and mold us all to be and do what you desire. Be glorified in my strengths and my confessions.....Amen.
Billy and Shanna Ramsdell