A massive tree fell on our bedroom on a Saturday morning. If we had still lived there, my wife Grace and I would be dead, as this tree fell down the middle of our bed. Our kids would have no parents in the midst of what was the most brutal season of our lives alone in a new state with no family or close friends. Suddenly, I saw that the burden of moving was actually a blessing. A lot has happened since then: Grace and I have celebrated 26 years of faithful marriage, we planted a church with the kids, we sent our oldest two off to college, and we have seen pretty much everything in life eventually turn into a blessing. God has been great and we are grateful. We share a lot of the journey in my new book, Spirit-Filled Jesus. You can pre-order the book at Amazon and learn to live by His power. Here’s one section of the book that details what our family has been up to:
My wife Grace and I have five kids—three boys and two girls. We moved to Arizona for a hard reset of life and ministry after years of feeling like a crash test dummy in a car with no airbags. After about two decades in ministry, I took some time off to heal up before entering the next season of God’s will for our life. For some months, we had church in our home as a family on Sunday mornings before we relocated for safety reasons. Our kids got it organized with one leading singing, one reading Scripture, one leading prayer, one collecting the offering (the youngest wanted to gather money for a single mom), one organizing communion, and me being the Bible teacher. Before long, some family and friends were joining us. Our kids added a children’s nursery in our playroom and started cooking breakfast for those who came to visit. Soon, our kids were running a fun little house church that grew to be a full house before we moved out of state. This joyful season allowed our kids and other people to heal up from a rough season.
Our kids enjoyed that experience so much that they started brainstorming planting a church together as a family project some months after we landed in Arizona. The first church my wife Grace and I planted, we were just twenty-five years of age with no children. Over the years when the kids came along, complex and challenging situations made it increasingly difficult for my wife and our kids to be much involved. This time, however, could be different and we could plant a church as a family ministry.
So, we started meeting over dinner to brainstorm the new church. The kids picked the name The Trinity Church to honor their grandparents on Grace’s side, who planted and pastored a church by that name for more than forty years until Grandpa passed away. Amazingly, the domain thetrinitychurch.com was available for cheap, so we bought it. We started praying about how we wanted to start a church as a family that welcomed other families. It was a lot of fun, and the kids helped architect the entire church. I will never forget the dinnertime conversation where one of the youngest children asked me, “Dad, am I on the church board?”
And I chuckled, smiled, and said something like, “Yeah, I guess you are, but since you are a minor it has to be unofficial.”