Michael B Linton

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reality Check

We have it easy. I heard today from Dmitry Zborsky, a Russian church-planter that was given a one-way train ticket to the town in which he was to minister. No convention support. No sponsoring church. No job. No place to live. Just a mission. (read his story) We have it easy. We have nothing on any missionary sent to a foreign country (Hey Tim and Mary). We have nothing on _____________ (pick a person) from the Bible. We have it easy. Sometimes my emails and posts sound as if we are being dragged backwards through barbed-wire, but the reality is that we have it easy.

Don’t forget, in all my whining, to pray for those people that really have it hard. Thanks Dmitry.

Prayers, praises, and a goof

Prayer requests:
Please pray today for our Tuesday night Bible study that starts at 6:30. We’ve had some interest shown in it and I pray it takes off. The time should be more palatable for an apartment community than Sunday morning, at least to start out.

Continue also to pray for Financial Peace. The goof is that I planned to start FPU on Super Bowl Sunday night. We all know that was a bad idea. Besides, I can work at Domino’s and make pretty good money. So we have moved the start date to Feb. 8th at 5PM. We have put out a little advertising for the bad start date, but not much.

A very generous friend has funded 5 weeks of newspaper advertising for our FPU. This will put the ad in four papers reaching some 200,000 people. We are so thankful for the gift.
We have also been officially sponsored by a church. Pastor Larry Reinecke and First Baptist Church North Houston have agreed to be our sponsoring SBTC church. This is critical for the eventual funding by the state convention. It is also critical that we have a church that is fully behind us and willing to allow us to beg for ask for volunteers and logistical help. Along with Amite Baptist, First North Houston and Pastor Reinecke will keep us bathed in prayer and constantly on the minds and hearts of the members there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Summerlake Update 1/4/09

We are doing a little restructuring. This morning was our 9th Sunday with no one but my family in attendance. Obviously, Sunday morning isn’t the ideal time for a Bible study at the apartment complex. Church plants don’t normally start on Sunday morning and I shouldn’t have tried to reinvent the wheel. So we are going to back up and punt.

As you already know, we are starting a Tuesday night study and Financial Peace on Sunday nights. Since we will have those two opportunities, we are stopping our Sunday morning study for a while. This will hopefully provide more accessible times for people to join us, and will also allow us to focus our time and resources.

The reality of our current situation is this: if our response to these two new meeting times is non-existent, we are going to have to seriously consider abandoning planting Summerlake. Our financial situation is untenable for more than a few more months. We are about to undergo a major reorganization of our personal finances in order to take some burden off the church, but that will only gain us a month or two. Etta and I are completely discouraged. I know we aren’t the first church plant to not make it—and we certainly won’t be the last—but I didn’t plan to be one of them at all. At this point, it looks as though we may become one of the negative statistics.

Pray that, if it is God’s will for us to continue, He will provide people, finances, and encouragement. Pray that, if it is not His will for us to continue, He will provide a graceful exit.

A side note:
If you gave financially to Summerlake prior to August 1st, you will receive a giving statement from Kingwood FBC. If you gave financially after August 1st, you will receive a giving statement from me in the next week or two.

Thank you for your prayers.