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Growing up as a Christian, Chris Podlich longed to invite his friends to church. But he felt that the step was too big for them, that the gap between their life and the church was too wide for them to cross.
Something in him was asking the question: How is Jesus’ life-transforming message good news for my friends? How do we help people who don’t connect with the church understand this?
‘When we were exploring the church-planting journey, I was in a traditional mindset’, Chris says. ‘I had a preconceived idea of how church should look and feel.’
But his wife said to him one day, ‘Would your friends, the people you want to reach … would they actually come?’
His answer was an emphatic no, and from there he started to let go of control and leave a lot more to God.
‘I’m still a control freak, but a little bit less’, he laughs. ‘I want to have all the details sorted out. I want all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, but you can’t do all that when you’re working with people of all different ages, time commitments and constraints.
‘Sometimes God’s telling you, “Chris, you have to step out in faith, and it’s in that space I’ll jump in and help you”.’
He says he was having a ‘meltdown’ one night because they had no worship leaders sorted out for the next day. His wife said, ‘Chris, Jesus loves the church more than you do – so you should just, like, take a breath’.
Now, when Chris feels the weight of responsibility, he’s more likely to remember, ‘If Jesus has called you to it, he’s going to get you through it’.
‘You just have to trust that he’ll show up.’
This is the first of six stories about LCA church planters to coincide with the Season of Prayer (20 October – 24 November).
For promotion resources, including bulletin inserts and PowerPoint slides, for this week’s Story of the Week, go to www.lca.org.au/spread-the-word
For Season of Prayer promotion resources, go to www.lca.org.au/spread-the-word and www.lca.org.au/new-and-renewing
For worship resources, go to www.lca.org.au/worship/wpp
- Visit www.lca.org.au/spread-the-word to find promotional materials (bulletin inserts, A5 flyers, PowerPoint slides and social media posts) to help you spread the word about our Story of the Week.