“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut 31:7,8
This week I met an interesting man, a church planter named David Gilley. David is a man who makes courageous decisions, ones that have had a lasting impact on the lives of many. Church planters are men who must make courageous decisions.
Some of you may know Noah Oldham, the pastor at August Gate in St. Louis city. When Noah was in high school at a small town in Southern Illinois there was a fight in their district as to whether or not the school would allow an elective class to be taught, The Bible as Literature. Eventually the decision was made to allow the class to be offered to students, though it only lasted for one year. Noah, who was a brand new follower of Jesus at the time, took this class. He shared how God used this class as one of the tools to not only help grow in his faith in Christ, but to also give him a love for The Word of God. Before this class, Noah had never really read the Bible before.
David Gilley was a pastor at the time and he was the man who taught the high school elective which helped to lead to Noah’s growth and his love for God’s Word. In fact, Noah’s #1 passion in ministry today is communicating the truth of God’s Word to others. Today I sat in on the PLANT St. Louis Metro East gathering for church planters which included both Noah and David Gilley. David, at 65 years of age, is pressing on and planting a new church called The Word. Noah and David had not seen each other since high school.
So what’s the point? The point is that David Gilley was a man willing to make a courageous decision. When God calls you to be a missionary, to plant a church, there will be times along the way when God is going to ask you to make a courageous decision in order to obey the vision God has given you. I hope we will all realize that those courageous decisions are going to have long lasting effects, touching the lives of many around us.