When Curtis left his position as the student minister at FBC Irving in 2008, we didn't think he would serve on a church staff again. That thought was kind of sad to us, as we had had great experiences in church work. But Curtis was being given the opportunity to do something he'd wanted to do since he was a teenager. So in March of 2008 we moved to Houston so that he could come under the umbrella of Living Proof Ministries as an additional traveling speaker. His days would consist of studying and preparing lessons and he would take just about every opportunity to travel and speak.
What actually happened turned out to be a little bit different. Curtis had plenty of opportunities to teach, but the vast majority of them didn't require travel. Score! That worked for me! Most of his opportunities came from within our local church. Two years later we began to assess this season of our lives and we saw that God seemed to be blocking the itinerant ministry we'd moved here for and blessing the ministry we were doing in our church.
Curtis' main role in Houston has been teaching a Wednesday night Bible study at HFBC called The Link, which he has now done for three years. It started out with a small group of Jesus-loving senior adults and has grown to a much larger group of men and women of all ages. One Wednesday night last year I looked out at our diverse group and thought, "Wow, this looks like a church."
Curtis also taught the Metro Bible study at our church (geared toward young singles) for the last two summers and he has taught our Sunday school class for the last year. Needless to say, I have listened to my husband teach a lot during the last three years. I've watched his gifts grow by leaps and bounds. Each time I hear him I see a demonstration of the Spirit's power.
About a year ago I began to sense strongly that while Curtis' teaching gifts were being fanned into flame, his leadership gifts were not even being touched. It's like a muscle that was going to atrophy if it did not have a chance to work. God started giving me vision for Curtis leading, teaching, and shepherding a group. A body of believers. A church.
The Lord was speaking this to Curtis at the same time. Only God knows how long we were both having these thoughts before we shared them with each other. By the time it happened, it was nice that we were both on the same page.
Let me say that we have been very happy with our situation. We are physically comfortable, we're surrounded by wonderful friends and family, Curtis loves working at LPM, and we adore the church where we attend and serve. We could stay like this for the rest of our lives and be happy.
But God is saying go.
For our entire marriage, the consistent message we heard from God was wait. I can't tell you how many friends, family, and even a few strangers have said, "I believe God gave me a word for you. Wait on Him." Even when we began to sense that God was calling Curtis to shepherd a church, we still sensed that we were to wait. The direction we believed God was giving us was to wait until the New Year.
By that time it was still early 2010, so we sat on these thoughts for quite a while. We met with Pastor Gregg, who affirmed Curtis' gifts and calling and began praying for us. We felt that in the coming months, we would either be called to an existing church or that God would lead us to start a new one.
And here's where I have to tell you to wait until I can write Part Two of the story. Thanks for reading along.