"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Acts 13:2
My wife met Val when she joined a play group for our toddlers. Val and her kids began coming to church, and eventually her husband, Mike, did too.
Mike had all sorts of questions, so we'd meet at a local restaurant to talk. One day Mike's son came home from our children's ministry quoting the phrase "What must I do to be saved?" Mike wanted the answer, and one day in Rosy's Restaurant he gave his life to Jesus. One of my favorite memories is the day we baptized Mike, his son, and his dad.
I imagined that Mike and his wife, Val, would always be part of our church. But as they grew closer to Jesus, they sensed God calling them to Utah. When I'd first met them, they were chasing the consumer's dream: big house, nice cars, a picture-perfect future for the children. Now they sensed God calling them to reach Mormons.
After a few years in Utah, Mike became an elder in his church. Two years later he attended a denominational "assessment center," where he was identified as a new church planter. A year ago, they began a new church in Salt Lake City. Mike is a former agnostic, turned believer, turned lover-of-Mormons, turned church planter.
Our church wanted to keep Mike and Val, and in some ways they wanted to stay. But the Spirit was saying, "Set them apart for me ..."
Father, call people in our church to be church planters and witnesses wherever they are. Help us to trust that you will provide for those sent and those left behind. Amen.
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