Vision

I am not a church planter. Why? I’ve just never done it. I know church planters though, in the US and in Germany. Right now I’m learning a lot from the church planters I know in Florida, but not everything can carry over cross culturally. The one concept that I’m discussing with my pastoral friends now is the simple idea of becoming a part of a community that already exists, rather than inviting people to a become a community. That’s pretty simple, right? A friend of mine lived this out when he became a part of a group of guys who play basketball at a fitness center instead of trying to have a basketball night at the church, to which he would invite people.

I believe this concept is practical for Germany. Why? The church planters I am joining, in Dresden, share the same vision and they have already successfully planted churches. Before I committed to joining their team, Jeff (team leader) told me about an instant community that already exists in German culture. It’s called a Stammtisch. A Stammtisch is a table where a group of like minded people meet regularly to discuss the thing which they have in common and/or to get to know one another better. For example, a friend of mine was invited to join a hunting Stammtisch. All of the hunters in his area gathered at their table weekly to enjoy one another’s company and to discuss hunting. Jeff suggested that this would be the kind of automatic community that he could become a part of, or even create, for the purpose of building relationships. This is something I can do!

Believing that this was something I would learn more about when I moved to Dresden, I put this thought out of mind. It has recently come back to me, as I consider things that I saw when I went on my vision trip to Dresden last summer. I will explain briefly: One night, Frank took me and my friend Roger down to a part of town called the Neustadt. He wanted to share a drink with us at one of his favorite bars. We ended up getting a late night tour of that whole part of town. The streets were filled with bars and various night life scenes. The area of the Neustadt that struck me the most, however, was an intersection where University students had taken over the sidewalks. They were sitting everywhere, enjoying beers and conversation. Apparently, this was a common occurrence. Being that it was only midnight on a Monday, I figured this was a smaller crowd.

IMG_4329

Looking back, this path was not coincidental, nor was the friendship I began to build with Frank that night. (Read his story here). Frank is now meeting with Jeff and Anne Ingram weekly to learn about God. Over Christmas break, he told me that he wanted to love Jesus as much as I do this year. Some of you have been praying for Frank. Please keep it up! During our discussion over drinks at the Neustadt about life purpose, I kept thinking: “Frank would be an incredible missionary!” I think God was the one speaking, not me.

My vision is this, I would like to visit the same Neustadt intersection weekly to mingle with University students. After meeting people, I hope to join or start a Stammtisch. As a matter of protection, I hope to get Frank and Jule to come along. I’ve already emailed Frank to ask him what he thinks about this. This could bridge into the church plants that the Ingrams are working on or it could become its own ministry. I don’t know, but I think God is the one revealing this vision to me and I’m excited to see what He does!

I’m not a church planter… YET. There are many steps that have to be walked through before I get to the point where I can put this idea into action, but they are equally important. 1. I must raise funds. This is an opportunity for me to get others involved in what God is doing. 2. I must complete language school in Berlin, so that I can be conversational in German before I move to Dresden. 3. I must be a part of Jeff’s team. I need to learn through observation and through internship. I can’t just jump into a new culture and do what I want to do. I have to be culturally intelligent.

Please jump on board with step 1 and help me get closer to this vision!

(If this is your first time hearing about what I hope to do in Dresden, you should visit leximcnair.com. I do have a desire to work with refugees in Germany as well.)

Click HERE to learn how to give

Advertisements

If I had it my way…

Frank

If I had it my way, I would be in Germany right now. I would already be done with language school. I would be settling into a small apartment, in Dresden, and getting ready for the challenge of a lifetime. I would have several videos of my journey recorded and posted. Hundreds of people would be praying daily for God to move in Germany. They/you would be waiting expectantly for my next blog/email/web update. They/you couldn’t wait to see what God was doing!

Alas, I am writing this blog from Orlando, Florida. Not too shabby, I know. There are worse places to be “stuck.” Worse people to be “stuck” with. Don’t worry, I appreciate the time I get to be with my family and the exciting city of Orlando. I am, however, writing this blog from my childhood twin bed, in a small room filled with packed suitcases. I’m ready to go.

I’m in a place of waiting, but not really. I’m still moving forward. What do I mean by that? Well, everyone says that God’s timing is perfect. The tricky thing is ACTUALLY believing that. When I hear the question “So, when are you moving to Germany?” I sigh. Truthfully, I want to know the answer to that question more than anyone else. If you have been the one to ask this question, you know that my answer is something like: “whenever the money comes in.”

I’m learning, again, that this time of “waiting” has to be a time of learning as well. I’m learning to be thankful in all things. I’m learning that God is my provider. I don’t gain financial supporters because I am cool, because I am fun, or even because I am the most equipped person to reach the nations for Christ. He is the one who laid out the mission. I will move when He tells me to move. Until then, I will spend this time in preparation.

A wise missionary once compared missionaries and their support teams to NASA. Thousands of people worked for NASA, but only a few actually went to space. Astronauts were the ones to go into the unknown, but the thousands of other NASA employees made the mission work. The astronaut could not work alone.

This analogy has been expanded for me recently. I’ve been struck by the short amount of time that astronauts actually spent in space. They spent most of their life training and working as scientists. This is not completely unlike the life of a missionary. While I do plan to move to Germany for good, I see how important this time here in Orlando is. I would have missed so much if I had things my way.

Right now I am serving as the interim youth pastor for Westwood Alliance church. I’m teaching through 1 Samuel and the book of Psalms. I love it! I get the chance to teach God’s Word! I get the chance to get to know some awesome teenagers and step into their stories. I get to be a part of their lives! I cannot express how much I love this. I wouldn’t be here though, if I had things my way to begin with.

If I had my way, I wouldn’t have had a year with the most awesome kids in the world at Westwood Alliance Church. When I first moved back home, I anticipated working with the youth. The church leadership asked me to work with the children’s ministry instead. If I had done things my way, I would have missed out on building relationships with some of my most favorite people on this earth.

If I had my way, I wouldn’t even be at Westwood Alliance Church. When I first prepared to leave for the Black Forest Academy (in Germany), I thought my friends at East Lake Community Church would provide the funding I needed in a short period of time. I didn’t anticipate ANY struggle with fundraising. Things didn’t come together like I thought they would though. Instead, I struggled financially and moved to Germany without the proper funding. God had a different plan. Instead, I learned to be dependent upon Him. Instead, God brought Westwood Alliance into my life. I wouldn’t have this incredible family if I had had things my way.

I’m learning, yet again, that my way is not the best way. Rest assured though, I am moving forward. I’m at about 64% monthly funding. I am in need of about $1,450 a month to be at full funding. I am hoping to move in June. Would you please keep me in prayer? Pray for God’s way, not my own.

Isaiah 55:8-13

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
    Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
    they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

Click HERE to learn how to give