Now we wait (this post is a little long)

Michelle and I have been assessed by the Launch Network. For those of you chiming in, Michelle and I spent a few days in Las Vegas with Hope Baptist Church and the Launch Network. The Launch Network's goal is to start strong churches by raising the leadership levels in the church plant's leadership. We spent 2 days with Mac Lake (the director and owner of a really cool name), Vance Pitman (Lead Pastor at Hope Baptist Vegas) and the assessment team. If you didn't know, I got a little nervous just before we left for Vegas  but the Lord was so good. Before we left, I had prayed that the Lord would not allow me to be impressive on my merits and that He would keep me honest, without making things bigger than they are (a pastor's trait I have accomplished, you know with numbers). As Mac began the assessment, a lump rose up in my throat. He began talking about their color coding (Green = go with their blessing and no reservations / Yellow = go with reservations and a plan to help through some of the flags that have arose / Orange =  not now, the lead planter needs to work on somethings before they begin the work - 6-18 months / Red = stop, don't plant which usually means that there is not a sense that the church planter and his wife would be successful). As he described this, all I could imagine was red or orange. I don't have confidence in what I can do. However, God brought to my mind a message left by one of my greatest friends, Nathan Sawyer. Nathan had called while we were in flight and said to allow the team to teach me and show me things I needed to hear. God used these words to settle my heart and then the fun began.

Michelle and I sat one on one for 50 minutes each with 5 different assessors in the areas of: personal growth planning, financial coaching, marriage assessment, personal counseling and a leadership interview. We also were blessed by 4 discussion panels by some awesome believers. These panels dealt with Calling, Risks and Rewards of Church Planting, Personal Growth and a reverse panel. Michelle and I also had separate meetings. She went into one for Church Planter's wives and I went into one for teaching. I cannot stop thinking about the things I learned. Michelle and I enjoyed the personal counselor  the most. But that doesn't mean we did not love the other ones also. I enjoyed every minute of this assessment. I believe I will use this assessment to help people when they submit to a ministry call. The two days were some of the best two days of my Christian walk. I truly loved being asked, criticized, and affirmed by their team. When we left, I felt a greater confidence in my calling. Not to church plant, but to God. Michelle and I will hear from Mac Lake by next week where he will affirm our lives, show us areas to work on and let us know our color coding. If given green or yellow, we will begin a 6 month journey with them as they deal with leadership. I went into this time thinking they would see that I don't know how to church plant and walked out being more sure that God is doing the most incredible things in my life. They dealt mainly with Calling and Personal Growth. How incredible this time was and I am so thankful that my Jesus loves Michelle and I so much that He would send us to this time.

So this is where we are at. We are waiting on their call, we are still needing about $3000 to begin printing, create a website and book the first round of plane tickets. We are also waiting for God to reveal some team members that will come with us. The target to be in Hawaii is April 2012. We are hoping to be there sooner. Prayer partners, keep at it. God is doing some of the most incredible things in our lives! Glad I said yes and took His invitation to this journey! Here are some quotes from our two days being assessed that I am still chewing on:

The root of forgive is to untie (I am living this one right now)

Knee to Knee when talking (this was in our marriage counseling time and I see it as a great tool for me to concentrate on Michelle when we talk)

Conversation and Recreation go hand in hand (Michelle and I don't do a lot of recreation things together, mostly because of time and cost, baby sitters can be expensive. So we are looking for ways to talk more while do things outside of our home)

Whatever I am, others I lead will become! - Tom McCormick

Know the urgent vs. important and see the important as priority _ Tom McCormick

My primary calling is not ministry, it is intimacy with Christ - Vance Pitman (so good to be reminded of this)

Ministry is the overflow of our intimacy with Christ - Vance Pitman (yes, yes and more yes!)

What I do affects our family - Daniel Floyd

Calling requires an openness to change my will -  don't remember who said this but it was good

Calling takes seasoning (there were at least 15 years between Paul's conversion and his first missionary trip) - Neil Cressy (mind blower right here)

Calling Keeps you in the Game - Vance Pitman (I needed that one)

God did not call me to start anything, He invited me to join His starting work - Vance Pitman (Amen)

God has created me to be me - Tim Wheat (This was one of the lessons I took away)

Our needs will only be met in Jesus - Melody Wheat

I am God's workmanship, when I criticize myself, I criticize God's work - Chip Judd (oh so good)

There are more but this post is already too long!

Shawn Peoples (Called to God and letting him bring me to the start)


  1. It is never too long. I know that I really enjoy reading your posts, and this has really given me hope about church and how things can or should be. Congrats on the huge step, Shawn! We look forward to more!

  2. Well stated! Praying for your color and for 3k to come your way.

    Be Ruined for the Ordinary,
    Chaz Churchwell


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