We're safely in Iowa. The land of corn, 65 MPH speed limits, and some farm with a baseball diamond that acts like a vortex into another dimension-- where people come simply because they built the thing. But that's another story.
After a wonderful and tiring 10 days in Illinois, we are now staying with my parents in the town of Muscatine on the banks of the Mississippi River. The kids are happy to see their grandparents, and Abby and I are happy to be at our last stop. I'll be preaching in my dad's church this Sunday, and I hope (for his sake) that we don't get too many, "Oh, you preach just like your dad!" comments. The topic for the sermon is "A Disciple Submits to Christ's Authority", taken from Luke 6:46-7:10.
Also on this trip, I read a great book by Erwin McManus called Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God Had in Mind. In it, he talks about the momentum of a church, using the physics definition of momentum. (All of you non-book-learnin' types, stick with me-- there's a payoff comin'.) The formula for momentum is P=mv. "P" is momentum, "m" is mass, and "v" is velocity. Applied to a church, mass is pretty easy to figure out-- it's the amount of people that are there. Velocity is a combination of speed and direction.
This basic formula really helped me think through the challenges we face as a church in the next 6 months. I feel like the velocity piece is in place. We'll have plenty of speed simply because we have a lot to do before September. Maybe too much to do in the given time. I feel like God has also given us a vision and direction of where to go with Harvest; a direction that will hopefully guide our speed. Our challenge is mass. We need people. Without mass, our velocity amounts to a bunch of nice ideas.
As I thought about this, I began to get discouraged. I'm not naturally gifted at filling rooms. Leadership success for me has always been a slower process. I was sharing these thoughts with Abby when she cut me off. She said, "Jeff, it sounds like you're trying to take responsibility for something God is going to do."
It's nice to be married.