It was more than 5 years ago when my friend Darrel Land mentioned to me the need for a church in French Lick. I was preaching at Central Christian Church in Huntingburg, Indiana. The ministry at Central was going very well. While I agreed with Darrel about the need for a church, I thought it would be something I could perhaps help with from a distance.
Then I made a trip to French Lick...
And from that time I have never been able to shake the idea of planting a church in French Lick.
Not that I didn't want to. There were times I told myself that French Lick was a bad idea. I told myself I needed to pursue a church plant in a different town. I even visited other places and met with people to discuss planing a church in other towns.
But I always found myself thinking about French Lick.
It was last November when Darrel called me and said there were a few families from French Lick he wanted me to meet. These families were interested in starting a new church in their community. I met with them for lunch to discuss planting a new church.
We met for a second time to discuss with people the idea of a church plant. These initial meetings were very positive and encouraging. Yet, I continued to struggle with the decision. I took a month to decide whether or not French Lick was the place to plant a new church.
During that time of making the decision whether to go to French Lick or not, I was reading Isaiah 61:
"1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;3to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."
It was my prayer from that point on that we would plant a church in French Lick. A church that would share the Good News of Jesus Christ. A church that would share the truth and set people free. A church that would warn people of God's judgement. A church that would bring comfort to those who were hurting.
This was my prayer because if we did that... we would be a planting that glorified God.
The Lord answers prayer in amazing ways.
This Sunday we launched Restoration Christian Church with 71 people in attendance. The feeling among the people is one of excitement. I truly believe God is answering our prayers.
Greater things are yet to come!!