Many of you know this. Some of you don’t. But prior to starting Crew we went through a pretty long and involved process of putting together a team. A team that has the same heart and passion to love Christ more than anything else. A team that is committed to having our lives shaped into Christ like lives. A team that desires to engage our community and have a positive influence on it. In a sentence: A team that wants to start a church. We are still putting together that team. We’re in the final month or so of that stage, but we are still very much engaged in gathering a team. This is the infamous “core team” you hear about all the time. It’s a core group of people that share the same dream and have committed their lives to it. In fact, that’s where we get our name: Crew. Crew is defined at dictionary.com as “a group of people working together for a purpose”. Once we had this team in place we would launch our new church. This has taken us about 2 years. Slow, I know, but necessary. We’re intense about this.
Well, about 3 months in, our core team numbered 8. I was depressed. I had about 40 folks I thought for sure would be jacked to join this team. Not a one did. I was really down. But, as usual, God had something else in mind. Something better. Lesson #1 in God’s church planting curriculum: YOUR CORE TEAM IS NOT MY CORE TEAM. Yes sir.
I was really hearing the words “thanks, but no thanks” a lot. Now I’m to the point of this blog.
One hot day in August a couple of college kids named Mark Patton and his girlfriend named Rachel West were coming over to our house to hear about Crew. I met them through Mark’s brother Brian, who was on our core team. I had no real expectations other than wanting to communicate our heart to them. On the way to our house Rachel had a car wreck. Nothing too bad. It just rattled her. They still came over, but about an hour later. They walked in and it was obvious Rachel had been crying. Rachel cries. A lot. After the preliminaries we talked about Crew, answered questions, and prayed. I told them to pray about it, talk to folks they trust who are objective, and come to one of our prayer times. I also usually throw out a little two week period where we’ll touch base again and see what we’re all thinking. Mark and Rachel said right away. We don’t need it! We’re in! What? We already know this is what God is calling us to be and do. We’re in. And they were. For the past 2 years, they have loved God, become more like Christ, and served Crew with reckless abandon. I always say, “I don’t want your time. I don’t want your money. I want your life. I want your heart. That’s the kind of team it’s going to take to start this church.” Well, we got it from Mark and Rachel.
Last Thursday a guy named Mark Patton and his wife Rachel Patton came over to my house to say “Goodbye”. Mark is going to play professional basketball in Germany for at least a year. Rachel apparently wants to go with him. I had no expectations. Rachel came over and cried. So did we. We also hugged, prayed, and said “I love you.” I didn’t realize until last Thursday that they didn’t just give me their heart two years ago, they started stealing mine. Lesson #whatever I’m up to now in God’s church planting curriculum: THE PEOPLE YOU LEAD TEACH YOU MORE THAN YOU TEACH THEM. Thanks Mark and Rachel. I love you so much. I’m deeply changed and radically different because of your love for God, Sarah and I, and your commitment to the cause. I can’t wait to see you again.