A Glimpse Into The Beginning of Start Church
The story of Start Church begins with an undeniable faith that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Basically put, God is trustworthy. You can take Him at His Word. He never flakes out, cops out, or backs out. He is always faithful. The story of Start Church unfolds like all great stories and is filled with people overcoming adversity, discovering adventure, and forming friendships. Somehow, someway, God interweaves the hearts and dreams of like-minded believers to accomplish His will, and it is an amazing sight to see!
In early 2014, God began to give elders Dan and Andy a vision of a new, life-giving church in the Beatrice area. They saw a church that called people out of religion and into relationship, out of depression and into joy, and out of apathy and into action. They weren't sure how it was going to come about and definitely had a lot of tough lessons to learn along the way. But after participating in previous church plant initiatives and experiencing the ups and downs of ministry, they grew more confident and determined in their calling and direction.
500 miles away in Colorado, Rob had been dreaming about planting a church since he was 16. After a few years of successful student ministry, Rob entered a season of doubt, confusion, and anxiety. He had a clear vision from God in the Spring of 2013 of living in Nebraska with his family, and he was positive that God was trying to speak to him. Unfortunately, he also learned some tough lessons as he moved to Nebraska prematurely and found no opportunities waiting for him. This led to emotional, spiritual, relational, and financial hardship. God was with him in this time, however, and continued to restore his faith and family as they waited patiently for God's next move.
The difficulties and setbacks brought about humility in all three men and acted as constant reminders to lean on God. The Spirit longs to use trials to mature us in our faith if we allow Him. (James 1:3) Finally, in the Fall of 2014, in an act of divine providence, the time was equally fitting for all parties to discuss pursuing a church plant together. Although Dan and Andy only knew Rob briefly during family visits to Beatrice, they drove all the way out to Colorado to talk face to face and asked him to help plant the church. That meeting changed the course of their lives.
The common desire and calling shared between the three men was undeniable, but the questions became "how" and "when." They had all learned important lessons in God's timing and wanted to make sure the Spirit was leading every step of the way. After a 10 day fast, and studying the requirements for biblical eldership, they were reunited in Nebraska for processing, planning, and prayer. Several things were made clear on that trip including the vision, values, name, leadership model, and the overall direction/strategy moving forward. The Holy Spirit continued to mend their hearts together, solidify their callings, and mature their character into the men of God that would lead this church.
Ultimately the backbone of Start Church is founded on people of God following and submitting to His call and His will. This includes the biblical mandates, such as the great commandments [love God, love others] and great commission [make disciples], but, moreover, includes obedience to specific instruction from the Holy Spirit. Here is the bottom line: follow God's voice. Follow your passions. Take risks. Be bold. Don't be afraid to fail. God is there to catch you. His plan for your life and His Church will not be thwarted. May we continue to trust God as He guides and leads this church to impact people with the good news of Jesus Christ.