Platform: Walking into the Unknown
By Dustin Neeley
Thirteen years ago, my wife and I moved to Louisville, Kentucky, for seminary. We would spend the next 12 years of our lives there, having five kids and planting and pastoring a church.
Then, everything changed. The Lord began to call us to plant a new church in Franklin, Tennessee.
Naturally, there was some degree of fear and uncertainty as we stepped from what was known into what was unknown. How will the kids respond? Will the new church make it? How will we pay our bills?
Yet as we began to walk down the path, God’s call started to become clearer. I realized that I would rather fail at planting a new church in Franklin than succeed at simply “mailing it in” in Louisville. Don’t get me wrong—God was doing a good work there, but we knew he was calling us to Franklin. So we made the move. I am elated to report that our old church plant is thriving and the new work here is off to a great start. By God’s grace, we now have a core group of around 90 people, four healthy community groups, growing relationships with unbelievers, and lots of momentum.
We wouldn’t have seen any of these things if we had stayed in our “comfort zone” of Louisville.
Believe me; walking into the unknown can be scary for any of us. It is risky to step out in faith from an established church with a dependable salary to start a new one where you wonder how you will be paid. It can be uncomfortable meeting new people and entering a new community. But sometimes, those are the kinds of things God calls us to do.
You can’t experience what God has for you tomorrow if you are content with what he had for you yesterday. You’d miss the joy of seeing God show up in ways you only heard about in “missionary stories.” The joy of seeing the lost saved and the found renewed. The joy of seeing your children experience the mission of God for themselves. Each of these vistas are found along the path traveled by those willing to walk into the unknown.
Which “unknown” is God calling you to today? To the neighbor next door? To the mission downtown?
Wherever it is, be bold. Trust him. You will be amazed by what you find there.
Dustin Neeley is an RCA church planter and lead pastor of Refuge Church in Franklin, Tennessee. “Platform” gives RCA members a chance to share their opinions.