I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. ~ I Corinthians 3:6

READING: I Corinthians 3:5-9

When Jim and I moved to Chino, California, to plant our first church, we both assumed he was a founding pastor and that we would retire in Chino after a long and enjoyable tenure.

We loved that church and felt very much at home in that community. After about seven years, Jim began to get antsy.

His ears would perk up when someone talked about a new church planting project somewhere. He began day-dreaming about pioneer life in Alaska.

Mainly, he was bored to tears by the minutia of committee meetings and maintenance details inherent to running an established church.

His passion was to win people to Christ, gather a cohesive core group and set up solid organizational structures so the church would thrive.

When people began bickering over the color of the carpet in the sanctuary, he sort of lost interest. It took awhile for him to sort out what it all meant.

By the end of our second church plant we both understood his gifting better.

He didn’t have to apologize for his waning interest level once the church had the luxury to worry about such things as flower arranging and changing the light bulbs.

It was a blessing to pass the baton to another pastor in an orderly fashion.

I must admit it was a nuisance to move on just when a church had stabilized enough to have a “real” church office or a sanctuary of its own, and we didn’t have to cart in chairs each week.

All I can say is this: When I heard people start to talk about carpet color, I knew it was high time to pack!

Father, Thank You for letting us do what You’ve called us to do, and for showing us where we fit in Your vineyard. Amen.

Dionne Carpenter


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