Thirty years ago tomorrow, Linda (my wife) and I were sitting at the dining room table with our realtor in Elmira, NY. He presented us a purchase offer on our home. We were planning to move but had no destination. After pastoring an established church for nearly seven years, we were fairly certain that God was nudging us to start a new church to reach unchurched families. But where? We had checked out multiple possibilities the previous months. Nothing clicked.
The phone kept ringing. A quandary. Do I interrupt our conversation with the realtor regarding an appropriate counter-offer on our home or just ignore the ringing? It was an old school pre-voicemail nonstop ringing. Something (or Someone) prodded me to do the unusual. I left the negotiating table to answer the call. It was a call that changed my life.
A gentleman on the other end of the line was calling from Florida about an opportunity to start a church in Cape Coral. Five months earlier, we were very interested and had inquired. We were informed another pastor was being considered for this position of “church planter.” We were disappointed. But on this day, this hour, this very minute—while our house sale contract was being finalized—the door was reopened to a dream, a new hope, a possibility, a calling.
Three decades later, we’re not shocked or surprised, but always in awe. That call resulted in fruitfulness that was once just an internal aspiration and vision. But the vision was shared with two additional couples. A core group formed. A new church was launched. And Cape Christian has thrived and flourished, survived and persevered. It has expanded and contracted. It has impacted thousands of families, marriages and lives. Grace extended. Redemption received. Marriages transformed. Families healed. God’s amazing grace. Evident. Abundant. Undeserved.
With boundless gratitude, we are humbled that God would call us. That He would work in us and through us. That He would send us ministry partners to walk with us. That he would call others to take the torch and run beyond us. What a ride. We are blessed on this 30th anniversary of the call. It changed my life, our lives and the lives of many more.
QUESTION: Have you had a call that changed your life? (I’d love to have you share it in the comment section below).