I hope and pray all is well with you and your family. If you have followed my life journey for the last three years, you know I’m all about church planting. However, I realized that my church planting journey started a very long time ago. I’m not just talking about how I was born as a church planter’s kid. I’m talking about how God brought me to Saddleback Church, built me up, trained me for ministry, and sent me to plant Overflowing Church.
What have I learned as a church planter, you asked? A lot, but let me share with you three things.
I learned that God wants us to go instead of just waiting for people to come.
During the lockdown in April 2020, no one was able to come to our gatherings. That’s why I began to visit small businesses in my community to encourage them, pray for them, and help them in a practical way. You could watch my video at https://youtu.be/SSz4KrW3hBk, but in April alone, I made new relationships with about 50 business owners in the community. Not only that, one of the business owners accepted Jesus as her Savior and Lord during the visit. When people cannot come to you, don’t just wait. Go and make disciples.
I also learned to create a space that people can gather.
Many church planters have used the principle of “if you build it, they will come.” Well, COVID-19 made them rethink it and conclude that “they” won’t come if you build it or not. The problem is not with the principle because what you are building matters. They will come if you build a space that they feel belonged and welcomed. Don’t just build a worship sanctuary only believers can come, which means you have to be creative and know what they need (not what we want).
Lastly, I learned to say “yes” to God, not to my own plans.
I know God is more interested in my availability more than my ability. If I do anything based on my ability, I will get what I can get, but if I do anything based on my availability, I will get what God can get, which is so much better and greater. This is the reason why I came to Saddleback Church in 2005 as a member, came back to Saddleback in 2013 to serve as a Small Groups Pastor, and began a new journey as a church planter in 2019. I’m beginning a new journey again, and it’s all about church planting and making disciples.
When I was sent by Saddleback Church to plant Overflowing Church, I was super excited about seeing what God was doing in and through my life. Guess what? God’s plan for my life was more than planting one church. God allowed me to see that his plan for my life was to plant multiple churches and continue to help them make disciples.
So, here are my two yeses to God.
First, I’m saying “yes” to serving as a Church Planting Catalyst of the North American Mission Board. I began to serve as a CPC in May, and since then, I’ve been a part of serving seven planters directly, another seven planters going through their process of planting a new church, and numerous more planters indirectly. I know this is God’s calling for my life, and I will do whatever it takes to plant churches everywhere for everyone.
Second, I’m saying “yes” to starting a new ministry. During the summer, Overflowing Church families gathered together and prayed about the future of our church plant. We all experienced that God changed our prayers into praise and led us to a decision to stop our journey as a church plant in December 2021. However, it’s not the end of our journey. We are starting a new ministry called Overflowing Ministries in January 2022. Through the local church planting, God gave us the vision for the kingdom church planting, and we will do everything to support churches in making disciples. We’re still working on the details, but please check out our new website https://ovrflw.org/ to learn more about it.
Please keep us in your prayers. You will hear and see more about our journey from the new website and social media channels, but Overflowing Ministries will be all about making disciples by preparing the way for the people. Whether it is coffee, online, media, or books, please pray for us so that we will do everything to see every person, family, and community overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Also, please support our new beginning. Thank you so much for being a blessing to our church planting journey. Without your support and prayer, we won’t be here today. Likewise, please be a blessing to Overflowing Ministries. The new giving link is https://tithe.ly/give?c=3989649. Thank you for your generosity.
Let me know when there’s anything I can do or pray for you. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13