2011 will forever be an unforgettable year for the Renner family. Parkway Christian Church had just gone through a merge with Christ’s Church of the Valley and for the first time, the two churches became one Church with 2 locations.
My intent here is not to aggravate old scars, but the merge didn’t go so well. Its doing fine now. Life moves on. After 8 months into the merge, it became clear that I had to do something drastic. It didn’t make sense then, but knowing what I know now…almost 5 years later…it was very necessary for layers of reasons. (Someday I will write about the necessary reasons…it’ll make a great book, but I think it will have to wait for 20 years or so before it’s written. Many details and reasons are still unfolding…If I had to write it now, I’d title it, “The God of Founders, Hoarders, and Shepherds”. (Please purchase this book in 2036-ish 🙂 LOL
So back to the date…On August 12, 2011…I was challenged by Bill Hybels, the keynote speaker at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, to write whatever I wanted on a broken shard of clay pot I had chosen from a pile in the auditorium. The pics below will show the shard, including the infamous date and what I wrote. As I wrote it, I cried. I meant what I wrote, and God held me to it. The pics below show both sides of the clay pot shard…
“WHATEVER YOU WANT. I WILL NOT BACK OFF. I WILL NOT HOLD ANYTHING BACK FROM YOU.”
Knowing what I know now…those are very dangerous words in the hands of a God who is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. I warn you to be careful about what pledges you lay down at the feet of the one who created the Sun, Moon, and Stars.
And so it began. A move to Florida. Another move within Florida. A move back to AZ. A move within AZ…twice. Someday I will share the intriguing details of encountering founders, hoarders and shepherds, but for now…the story is just about at its climax and the dramatic ending is about to unfold!
This blog isn’t intended to retell the current motion picture that is about to conclude, but is more like a rough draft of the opening scene of the sequel!
Its about to happen. I don’t know the timeline…but the Lord does.
So much has happened in the past nearly 5 years, and so many people got stuck in asking why it all happened. Too many people drown in the question of, “why?” I’ve taught for 25 years, that asking WHY is the wrong question. Asking WHAT NOW is the right question. I’m shocked at how some think that my not being in a leadership position within a church for a couple years is very odd. Its not odd if you look to the Word of God for similar examples. The following are four. There are others too.
King David…after being anointed King of Israel, didn’t positionally lead until about 15 years later.
Joshua… When he was 17, was sold into slavery by his own brothers, and it wasn’t until 13 years later that he finally got his “stride” back.
The Apostle Paul, according to what he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:18, was blocked by Satan from being able to continue the work of Jesus for a time.
Jesus… had a pretty good position from Heaven, and then was commanded by His father to leave His comfort zone to take a 33 year detour that left Him for dead. The story ended well, but we only know that from 20/20 hindsight.
So…the Renner Family 5 year saga…has purpose that is still unfolding. I’m just writing now to ask you, my friend, to pray for me and my family.
A new beginning is about to happen. The sequel to this current movie! I’m so convinced of this that I just purchased a brand new leather journal. (See Pic Below) It has gold edged pages…it’s new…it’s fresh…it’s excitement yet to be written. The sequel is about to begin!
I still have my old journal, the one I’ve been using to write this current feature film… It’s falling apart and loaded with incredible story, timelines, learnings, founders, hoarders, shepherds, lions-tigers-and-bears…Oh My! I will continue to write in the old one until it becomes clear the current movie has ended.
I can’t wait to break open the new Journal and begin writing on the crisp pages that thirst for pencil and ink.
The trailer of the new sequel is this.
I am going to be a Lead Pastor again. The where is being wrestled with right now. If it can’t be in a current Church that is prepared to let go of control and move forward to do whatever is necessary to reach people far from God, then I’ll plant another brand new, fresh, and flexible one. This trailer teases of a story with incredible life change, spiritual influence, church growth, and… if God wills, a movie about the next 20 years of the Renner Family’s life. The main characters don’t change. They are a wonderful trio…The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We Renner’s just have supporting roles in this movie, and with that we hope to win some rewards that make the Oscars seem so temporal.