Planting Mercy Church Week 6: Sunday is Coming

Planting Mercy Church Week 6: Sunday is Coming

by Spence Shelton

This is part 6 in an ongoing set of reflections on planting Mercy Church. Btw: I’m thinking these will go weekly up to our launch day on September 13.

Last Week:

  • Sunday: Guest Preacher!!! Chuck Reed was awesome. did so much good for our church and gave me a chance to spend the prior week reading the book of Acts like crazy.
  • Monday: Pretty chill. Morning off then a smooth afternoon of logistics. Gonna be a good week…
  • Tuesday: Theology Crisis. This is for another post but when you really dig into a passage, then evaluate what theologians then & now say about it, you might find yourself in a conundrum. Like: What do I believe about the baptism of the Holy Spirit!?! I thought I knew. But now I need my greek tools (where is my dear friend Pritesh when I need him). Tuesday ended in a greektastrophe.
  • Wednesday: Crisis continues. Did you know Piper & Lloyd-Jones apparently disagree with F.F. Bruce, Darrell Bock, and William Larkin on something? WHAT! Why are the preachers and scholars on diff pages? What is a new preacher to do (the answer is pray & develop your own convictions btw)! Operations & Shepherding in the afternoon. Reminder: Either Sunday or Jesus is coming. And according to your passage (Acts 1.1-11) you aren’t supposed to worry about when Jesus comes.
  • Thursday: Ok, Crisis subsiding. Theology developing. OH CRAP. I GOTTA WRITE A SERMON!! Remember that time your preaching mentor said spend 20hrs developing your sermon until you don’t need to anymore? And its thursday at 11am? And you have meetings this afternoon. Ruh Roh scooby.
  • Friday: WEDDING REHEARSAL…OUT OF TOWN!?! Oh yeah, and you promised your kids you’d go see the minion movie. Since your conviction is Dad beats Preacher, you go bro. Friday 10pm: back into the sermon. Point 1 makes sense….right?
  • Saturday: preform morning wedding out of town. wife gets text from friend staying at our place: “Hey I think your Air is busted. its 79 & climbing in here.” second text: “I think ellie is running a fever.” Mental Text: “hey spence, this is your sermon manuscript. Sunday is coming.”
  • Saturday night: arrive home to 84 degrees downstairs. 89 up. deploy hurricane evac plan. Leave goldfish behind (“good luck dwight!”). Awesome friends let you stay at their house. 3yr old fever still up. Wife is a pillar of calm in it all (note to self: take her out. + flowers.). 10pm: Open computer: Lets change the intro. again. even though points 2 & 3 look like an abandoned half-finished construction site.
  • Sunday EARLY: Well sunday is here. Should probably send our very very patient a/v guy the manuscript. But I need to change some stuff. I know I abandoned caffeine but this seems like a good time to tap back in. And do jumping jacks. That gets blood flowing. Had domino’s last night. Their turnaround might work for an intro to the series. Lets change the intro. again.
  • Sunday 10:30am: Well everyone is here. Record group for our little gathering. Look in back. There is our prayer team (one person this week) reminding me this whole week was never about me and my prep. Yes, Sunday is coming. And while I need to prepare like it is up to me, I need to remember life change is entirely up to Jesus. So I take those last few minutes. That could be spent cramming, rethinking wording…and instead threw up my hands, my heart, and my sermon to Jesus. Finally, with 2 minutes left in the last song b4 I’m up, I get what Jesus was showing me Tuesday morning.

So I’m going to seek to build more desperation into my planning. I needed Jesus to deliver because you know I just didn’t feel ready. What a prideful perspective. I ALWAYS need Jesus to deliver. Acts 1.8, the verse I preached, says that you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you. Not “you will get power when you prepare enough.” We are believing God will change lives through Mercy Church. 50 salvations by labor day 2016. Roughly 1 a week for a year beginning launch weekend. I can’t preach that into existence. May the Spirit of God empower our people to share the gospel and may the Spirit bring a gospel awakening to Charlotte, NC.