Heading Out to Jakarta

Now it is official – my family and I will be heading out to Jakarta, Indonesia for one year to plant our first international church. The estimated time of departure is July 2009.

It has been a long journey for us to come to this point as a family. But as I look back into my life, I realized that God has been working on our hearts so that we would be available and surrendered to do the will of the Father.

There are at least 3 reasons that drove us to this decision:

1) A vision driven decision – This decision to go to Jakarta is consistent with everything that God has been doing in our church for the last 12 years. We have seen transformed lives on the campus of University of Michigan and we wanted to see God transform more lives at other college campuses. Therefore, we started to plant churches on or near college campuses in various cities. With an increase of international students coming out to our church, we realized that God was opening doors for church plants internationally with some of our alumni.

2) A value driven decision – A leadership principle that I have learned over the years is – “never ask of people things that you are not willing to do yourself.” I’ve recognized the important value of living by example. What good is it if I talk the talk but do not walk the talk? Therefore I want to lead by example; and it is my prayer that many will follow in the future as we plant more churches in global cities. I want to be the one planting the seeds of sacrifice for the future generations (Jn 12:24-26).

3) A vitality driven decision – It is so easy to get comfortable as a church when things are well established. There is security and stability (which are not bad things) but if they hinder us from getting to the next level or even impedes us from taking risks for God and living by faith, then we have to reexamine our calling. It is to tempting to look backwards at our successes rather than forward to our potential. I believe that this step forward will open up new doors for our church. It will open up more opportunities to grow spiritually and open more opportunities for ministry, both locally and globally.

People have asked us, not only about the reason for our decision, but how we came to the decision. In essence they were asking us for a timeline so that they can understand our decision making process. So here is the timeline:
 
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In the “Radical Love… Radical Lives” sermon, I laid down the foundation for this year’s theme. In this sermon I made the official announcement and explained our decision to go to Jakarta.

You can watch the video sermon here. At the end, I explained a little further about the “next steps.”

Also, we made a FAQ to answer some of the questions that are related to this international church plant.

As we take this step of faith, we are trusting that God will go “ahead of us” and “alongside us.” We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.