Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Learned from Snubbing Mark Batterson

Butler Township Fest 2011
The journey of church planting is a crazy ride and it has allowed me to go in and out of many church circles.  A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to meet a great influence of mine, Mark Batterson, and talk church planting.

Two things will always stick with me from with that day.

 One thing Mark Batterson said.
 And one thing I did, or should I say, didn't do.

In his office, which was pretty cool, nestled above Ebenezer's Coffee House, was filled with books.

You can tell a lot by a person by the books they have on their shelf. 

Mark has an eclectic mix of books which is no surprise to why he is such an effective leader.
Upon looking around his office and reading book titles, he offered me one of his latest written books at the time "Wild Goose Chase," and I said, "No I already have it."

Call it nerves.
Call it stupid.
Call it a snub.

I didn't say that it was one of my favorite books.
I didn't say that I have purchased and repurchased that book 
because of giving it away so many times.
I didn't allow him an opportunity to give. 

Followed by a puzzled look on Mark's behalf he graciously continued the conversation about church planting. 

And he left me with one of the most valuable pieces of information about church planting... location.

Batterson said, "One way you can find a location to plant a church is if you can see yourself raising a family in that area."

I found that statement to be very true and very encouraging as we have landed in Drums PA to plant Valley Community Church.

However, that conversation always left me with a bittersweet feeling, because of the snub, or the fact that when I get nervous sometimes and I say no when I should say yes.  

Which leads me to this past weekend, our church plant's first official event for VCC.  We had twenty volunteers from three local churches (MountainTop Family Center Church, Berwick AG and Faith AG Church) giving their time for the Butler Township Festival.  

There were times when I thought we had too many volunteers and found myself wanting to say no to some individuals.  

I guess my reasoning or fear was of having too many people 
standing around because all the jobs were filled.

Thankfully I said yes, and as it turned out, every single person that helped us this past weekend had an important role to play making it a total success.  There were situations that came up that I did not foresee and we needed more people than I originally thought.  

It's a good thing I said yes.

If I said no, I would have robbed a person of making a difference.

I have learned to say yes more than no.  

Even when people at the office offer if I want something for lunch.
Even when people offer a drink in the waiting room.
Even when people ask to volunteer.

There are times I think about that look that Mark Batterson gave me. 
If you asked him, he probably wouldn't even remember, but I do...

Because I have seen that look in others when they've wanted to be generous and giving
and thought I had everything I need.

It is good to give but,
I am learning that I am not too good to receive. 


  1. I love learning from your wisdom. I wish it could happen every Wednesday morning for a few hours again :)

  2. Thanx Bonnie... You were a wonderful student. And I miss u guys.

  3. Good stuff, PA. I never knew that you met Mark. That's awesome! Thanks to you "Wild Goose Chase" has become one of my favorites as well. Hope all is well!

  4. Thanx Jonah. He is totally legit. Things are going great. Excited for you and your journey!

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