...Done something that you never thought you would? I'm doing it right now! I'm driving a school bus. Yes, I'm driving a school bus. I had thought about this on different occasions in the past and well this summer I decided it would serve beneficial in our adaptation to this new area we're now in. It allows me to meet many new people while also helping to make ends meet financially. Being a Contractor for all my adult life I know I could go out and build a business in this area as construction is everywhere but we didn't move here to build a business, we came here to build a church.
Another benefit to driving a school bus is the route I'm on. Others in the transportation department would argue with me but I think God has uniquely placed me where I am on my route. I transport the JJAEP Students. JJAEP stands for, Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program. Yes, I transport the "bad" kids. But you know what? Over the last month since school started here I believe God has really let me see these kids in a way other than the way many see them..."convicts". When others are referring to the students I transport, they say things like "You got those convict kids on your bus, you better watch them". I don't see "convicts", I see lives. Lives that are full of potential and lives that God loves and Christ died for. I refuse to label these kids as "convicts".
Last week I loaded an ice chest up with ice and filled it up with bottled water. When my students boarded the bus, they were amazed that I had thought of them in this way to bring them cold water. The first student on the bus asked me, "Is this on you man?" I said, yes it's on me...enjoy. He replied, "Man, not everyone would do that, thanks!". He made certain that everyone who boarded the bus thanked me for bringing cold water for them to drink.
My prayer is that this bus route would be more than a job but an avenue to do ministry even if those receiving it aren't aware it's "ministry". The vast majority of these kids are from single parent homes and are struggling at best to understand life and the hand that has been dealt them. I hope that over the course of my time as their bus driver I'll be able to have a positive influence in their lives.
Our new church work is going well and I'll be writing more about what's taking place soon! Stay tuned!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I've been relatively quiet on matters concerning our new ministry here in Dickinson, Texas. The reason for this silence is that there was a transition in place and I didn't feel like it would be appropriate to divulge too much information. That has now changed. As of last Sunday, September 02, Tiff and I are formally the Lead Pastors of Bayou Community Church. Along with this comes the liberty to share more of where the ministry is and where we hope it will go. We're approaching "church" from a little different perspective in comparison to our last church which we pastored for the last 9.5 years; Living Springs in Bandera, Texas. We still very much love Living Springs and the wonderful people there but our hearts were beginning to be removed from the ministry there and God has now placed us here. Living Springs, having been our first pastorate had to put up with a great deal of inexperience with us. We think that this new work will benefit in that we have grown and matured a great deal since 1998. :)
We enter into this new work considering what it means to be the "church" in a more holistic manner. I pray that will translate into many coming to know Jesus as Savior.
This Thursday is our first midweek meeting in which we will have an open dialog about what it means to be the church and how the church should influence and impact our community. It's an ITF (Invent The Future) brainstorming session where we'll talk over many ideas that we can create into ministry. Another approach to ministry that we're going to consider as a young church plant is what I'm going to call Community3 or C3 which simply means community to the 3rd power. I'll be sharing more on this as it develops.
Needless to say, we're very excited about what God is preparing to do through BCC! Already we're seeing new faces come in and expressing a willingness to become part of this work! I think God is up to good things!
More to come :)