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A Season of Prayer

Since we entered this season of transition, there has been quite the bit of soul searching.  There were very distinct questions we had to ask ourselves. 

Question #1: Am I going to continue serving God through full time ministry?

This question only took a few days to answer.  After the smoke cleared and we began to pray, God very quickly confirmed His calling on our life.  We believe that Jesus Christ is the answer to the most pressing questions of the human condition.  And we believe that the Church is God’s chosen instrument to engage the world with the answer of the gospel.  And we are called to give our lives for that mission.

Question #2: Will I take another pulpit at some other church across America?

This question took a while to answer.  I typed out a resume.  I put my name out there.  Calls came.  And doors opened.  But we would pray about the towns, the churches, the work, and there would be no fire.  No pull.  No confirmation.  We could go and do good… but there wouldn’t be that confidence that comes with hearing the voice.  The more we dug into this option, the more we realized that this wasn’t our calling.  We didn’t want to inherit a building, a culture, expectation.  Those things aren’t evil or anything…. but we have this moment of complete and utter freedom, why not dream big.

Question #3: Do we feel called to start a new church?

We began to talk about this.  About planting a new church.  About gathering a small group of Jesus followers together, and about engaging the world one person/family at a time.  About living out our faith in the world.  If that meant getting a job to pay the bills, that was fine.  The job would be my vocation.  My passion and life would be sowing the gospel into the people I would meet.  Angie and I began to talk about this, and we began to get excited.  To be a part of a work from the bottom.  To build something.  A fire was lit…

Question #4:  Where in the world do we plant a church?

The first part of an answer came quickly.  We have a heart and passion for Michigan.  We love this state.  And as the population decreases year over year, as church planters continue to overlook this area for more dynamic and financially stable areas, we feel a burden to fight for this state we love.

But where in Michigan?  I knew I could not stay in Waterford, nor plant anywhere to near to that town.  Though I gave that town 20 years of my life, planting anywhere in the area would cause confusion and harm.  We have spent that last 3 weeks visiting cities and towns across Michigan.  And we are beginning to feel a direction from the Lord.

Angie and I are spending the next 3 weeks praying about planting a church in Flint Michigan.  We are making sure we are hearing God’s voice correctly.  We are seeking council and being assessed.  We are in mighty prayer about this work.  One of the goals of my life is to just go to a town and to give my life in that place for that people.  Before I go north, I am making sure that God is with us.  Because if God is with us… 

Thank you for praying with us as we seek His face.  When this time of prayer is over, there will be much more to say.  Thanks for the love and encouragement.  It is truly a blessing.

-Ernesto Alaniz