So, I resigned as Pastor of Faith Church of Waterford (the sermon is posted below). And it was hard. And there are still questions about why. I am intentionally not dealing with that part of things. What I wish to write about this day is what happens next.
I am asked the question often… where are we going? And for a while I would just say, “Who knows,” or “I wish I knew.” But that is the answer of a defeated man. And I am not that. No. I know who I am. And I know what I was built to do. God made me to love people and proclaim Jesus. That is all I got to offer the world. And that call has not been lost.
Angie and I are currently talking and praying about where this will take us. Will we go back to the mission field, trying to bring the love of Christ across cultural barriers? Will we go to an established church and lead a people? Will we plant a brand new church in a community?
I will tell you what we know. We are not staying in the Waterford area. I begin preparing the house for sale next week. Got a put a new roof on, stain the deck, put in a floor, paint some walls… all that good stuff. It is going to be hard to leave this town that I love, but this is the path I have to walk.
Concerning the mission field. There is only one land I would move my family to. And that is India. And right now, there is absolutely no way for an American Missionary to enter into that country. So that door remains closed. I am still going in February to bring encouragement to the churches. But I go as a friend and brother, not as an evangelist. Right now, the best way I can help India is by being a great advocate for the work of Claycups, and supporting the work of some incredible Indian pastors. You can read about that work at claycups.net.
Concerning going to an established church: We are talking to many people. As we have journeyed through life, we have made many friends. And these friends are telling their friends about a Pastor without a home, and the calls are beginning to come in. We will pray over every opportunity that comes our way.
Concerning planting a church: We are actively praying over different communities in Michigan. It is no secret that I love Michigan. I call her the greatest state in the union. She has taken big hits economically, and she is not seen as a strategic place to plant churches. All the stuff I read about church planting says go to growing communities full of young families with fat pockets. But if everyone goes there… who is going to reach the Waterfords of the world? Who is going to go to the cities and towns with shrinking populations and economic hardship? So Angie and I are doing some recon work? Got maps out. Looking over census data. Looking over church to population ratios. Looking for an opportunity to make an impact for the kingdom of God.
So that is what we know now. I will be keeping people up to date on this blog, which I will update every week on Monday. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Angie and my story. You have made it rich and wonderful. And though a season has come to an end, the story ain’t over yet.
-Pastor Ernesto Alaniz