When I first came across the concept of church planting I was just a wee pup. My teeny tiny teenage mind understood church planting as a series of glorious adventures, scripted in Hollywood and played out on the golden streets of a sparkling metropolis somewhere.
I anticipated my role would be a sort of cross between the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost and an Alan Shearer hat-trick in the World Cup final (I’m still half convinced that a World Cup hat-trick isn’t yet beyond me).
Though, as my previous post attested, the reality is (of course) somewhat different.
This week it was our kids who took up perhaps the hardest challenge of this whole adventure. Anyone who has ever moved abroad with small children will know the feeling well.
The night before they started school I was reading the The Lion, The With and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) before bed. I came to the bit where Peter, Susan and Lucy are having dinner with Mr & Mrs Beaver. Lucy asks them if Aslan is ‘safe’. Mr Beaver replies: “Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you”. (If you’ve ever been in a prayer meeting with Joel Virgo you’ll be familiar with the quote).
Now, sending your daughters into a context where they know no-one and know none of the language is, well, not ‘safe’. At least it doesn’t feel safe, not in the slightest.
Mr Beavers description of Aslan is a fair allegory of Jesus Christ. Following Jesus isn’t supposed to be ‘safe’, read Luke 9.23, the books of Acts (or basically any of the bible) and try and disagree.
However, He’s thoroughly good. Not only does He intend good for us, He ensures good for us.
Church planting isn’t supposed to be safe either (nor is parenting), or glorious for that matter, but we can fully expect God’s goodness at every step along the way, as we’ve seen in abundance this week with our children.