Getting God’s Will Right

“I just want to know God’s will.”  “I just need some clarity.”  “I want to make sure I’m not missing God’s plan for me.”

Ever find yourself saying these things?  I know I have, many times.  Heck, I’m the king of “I just want to be in God’s will.”  In fact I’ve spent entire seasons of my life (sometimes lasting a year) trying to determine God’s will for me.

It can be a really unpleasant place to be, this position of in-between, uncertainty, and longing to know what to do next.  After all, we just want to make God happy right?

Although I can’t sit here and tell you exactly how God wants you to spend your life, I can tell you a few things that I’ve learned that will help you discover His plan without losing your mind in the process.

Learn to trust.  A cry for “clarity” is often an indication that we really don’t trust Him.  We want to see more clearly, but that’s because we don’t have faith that our lives are really in His hands.  Learn to accept uncertainty with grace and believe that He will not abandoned you to fumble around in the dark.

Do something. Sometimes we put the brakes on serving or committing to anything for fear that we won’t be available once we figure out what God’s will is.  Stop being so selfish!  There are bigger needs out there than the warm fuzzies you’re seeking.  Don’t you believe that God is big enough to move you on  when He’s ready to reveal His plan?  1st Peter 4:10 tells us to use our gifts to serve others.  To not be serving is to be out of God’s will, so serve.

Pray. To say that you’re “seeking God’s will” but to not be praying is simply lying about what you’re doing.  You’re just worrying about your future.  Seriously, there’s no single act that will bring you closer to discovering God’s will than praying.  In fact, God’s will is that you pray!  (1st Thessalonians 5:18)

Cultivate intimacy with the Father. In times when God is not offering you a plan or a map, He is offering you Himself.  Don’t mistake his silence for indifference.  It’s a call for intimacy and, in time, you’ll learn to cherish that quiet intimacy more than anything else.

God’s will is a call to become. At the end of the day, Father God is far more interested in who you are becoming than what you are doing.  Focus on becoming all that He created you to be and the doing will come naturally.  In fact, you may even find yourself stepping into His plan without even realizing it!

One last thing: God is not cruel.  He is not playing “find the plan” and deliberately making it hard on you.  He’s not high fiving the angels saying, “look at that idiot trying to find my will.”  His will is not a needle in a haystack that you have to find or God will be unhappy with you. He loves you and wants you to experience “life abundantly”.  He may even have several options for you to choose from.  He probably even wants you to have a wonderful time exploring them!

The Biggest Announcement Ever!!

It’s been a year and a half since we began considering our next step.  We’ve prayed, thought, been to conferences, taken assessments, sought wise advice, and waited patiently (and sometimes not-so-patiently) for God to speak to us.  We’re so excited to finally go public with it!  We’re planting a church!

A little history
In August of 2009 the ministry I was working for had to release half of its staff for financial reasons.  I loved my job there and continued to travel, speak, and lead prayer events even after I left the prayer center.

When I was faced with the task of deciding what to do next with my life, I thought I’d tackle the process from a different angle.  Instead of going into panic mode and getting another church or ministry staff job, I chose to waitI started a business so that I could have a measure of flexibility and still pay the bills.  I also did something I’d never done before when making a major life decision.  I sat down with my wife and children and told them that we were all going to pray and make this decision together; that we would let God lead all of us instead of simply moving ahead with my own big ideas and expecting the family to go with it.

I knew it was going to take time and I knew It would be difficult, but I chose to wait until we all heard from God (including my 7 year old).

A Ridiculous Idea
Shortly after our family meeting, I got together with my pastor to ask for prayer for our situation.  During our conversation, he asked me how I felt about church planting.  I laughed and said something about that being the LAST thing I wanted to do.

I had already been down that road in Ireland and in the U.S..  It was grueling, frustrating, and unfruitful.  I didn’t know at the time that there is some really good church planting resources out there and organizations that offer terrific support.

My pastor asked me to pray about it and he sent my wife and me to a conference for those just thinking about church planting (I didn’t know there were conferences like that).

After months of praying, people began making comments to me like, “I sure wish someone would plant a Vineyard Church in our community.” and “I would so be there if a Vineyard started here.”  A friend of mine, who had no idea that church planting was even an option for me, had a vision of me starting a church.

Believe it or not, I was still resisting the idea until…

A Powerful Confirmation
My wife came to me and said, “I think we’re suppose to plant that church.”

“I’m not so sure of that.”, I’d say.

This went on for months!  Then one day, I was working in my office.  It was a small room right off of the play room.  I could hear my three boys talking enthusiastically about something and I listened in.  They were talking about starting a church!  They took turns talking about what kind of childrens’ ministry it would have and what the youth group would be like.  They were totally on board and I was following close behind them.

Just a few days later, my wife and I attended another church planters conference.  This time, the national church planting director approached us out of the blue and invited us to dinner.  He spoke a powerful word into our lives and I was sold.  I knew it was what we were supposed to do!

A Bright Future
So here we are!  We went public with the plant during Sunday service this week.  We have a great pastor who is amazingly supportive (I love the fact that we have a mother church).  We’re assembling a launch team and we’ll have our first church service in the fall.

We don’t have  a location yet, but we know we’ll be on the west side of Moline or the East side of Rock Island.

We have a long way to go, but we have this AMAZING God who called us to it and is faithful to do His part in this lofty venture!

Please consider partnering with us with your prayers.  We need people who will lift us before God’s throne regularly.  The task is great, but He is greater still!

Thanks so much!

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Blog Like a Pro!


I know this post doesn’t really fit that great here at my blog site, but I was hoping that this would be a blessing for both of us.

Last year, I took a huge, stretchy step of faith and decided to become a tent maker.  After 17 years of full-time ministry, I started my own business, and continued to speak, write, take missions trips, etc, without receiving a weekly paycheck.  I know that sounds backwards.  Most people work a job outside of ministry until they can go “full-time” at a church or something.  It’s an experiment I wanted to conduct and the results aren’t in yet.

The business happens to be a media/marketing business.  We build web sites, create graphics, videos, etc for churches, ministries, and small businesses.  We also build blogs, which leads us to this opportunity…

I would like to set up a first class blog for you for free.  One with a real address like instead of  One built with a premium theme that you can customize and make your own.  And I’d like to give you a super cool email address with your own url in it instead of that old gmail address.  What will this cost you?  NOTHING!  Just pay your hosting fee ($10 a month) and you’ve just stepped in to Awesome Bloggerville.

Why?  Because your monthly hosting fee helps me to keep leading prayer experiences, keep preaching, and keep taking equipment to Irish church planters, that’s why.  It’s a blessing to me and my family AND a blessing to you because you get a premium blog setup for free.

So here’s how it works.  We’ll take care of your domain name (how about, give you two email addresses, build the required database, install WordPress on our servers, and hook you up with one of the best themes available.  It’s the same theme I use (without the wood background and other customizations I’ve made).  Then you take it, add your own personal touches to it, and blog like the wind!

It’s a super great opportunity to upgrade to a first class blog site AND support a cool ministry!  Just send an email to with your name, email address, phone number, and current web site (if any), and I’ll contact you to get started.  You’ll be glad you did!

Thanks so much!!


I almost forgot!  Please consider hitting that Tweet button on the left.  It would be great if LOTS of people knew about this opportunity.  Thanks in advance!

One Thing (Part 3)

Wow!  What started as a simple question that I decided to ask (check it out here) has turned into a mini-series of questions.  I’ve really enjoyed all of your comments and insights on what you believe the church should do really well and what, if they tanked at, would cause you to leave.

My last question (well, hopefully my last) is for the many people who have shared that they’ve already left the church.  I know a surprising number of people who have decided to stop attending for one reason or another.  Many of them have really good reasons for doing so.

My question today is this: what would it take to get you back to church? More solid teaching?  Meaningful friendships?  Better worship?  An apology from your pastor?

What would it take?

OK go.

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One Thing (Part 2)

One Bad Apple

Last week I asked the question “If your church only did one thing really well, what would you want that thing to be?” (You can check out that post here.) There were some great (even passionate) responses.

Today I want to flip that question on its head.  If your church did everything great, except for one thing, and missing the mark on that one thing would actually cause you to leave your church, what would that one thing be?  Would poor worship make you leave?  Lousy hospitality?  Rotten preaching?

It must be a pretty big deal to you if everything else is done really well.  What is it?

OK go.

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One Thing?

I have a quick question for you.

If your church only did one thing really well, what would you want that thing to be?

Even if everything else really stunk, you’d still stay because this one thing was done superbly.

Would it be the worship?  How about the speaking/ministry?  What if the children’s ministry was off the hook but everything else was a turd?  What if everything was lame but they did a fantastic job of making you feel welcome?

What would be that one thing for you?  Let me know!

OK go.

Thanks for reading. You can subscribe to my blog by Clicking here.