Rodeo Week- Monday

Since arriving I have had the a chance to run a Bobcat (small frontend loader), weed wack corrals, help put up a “circus” tent, and rip out walls. Ministry is a hoot.  I am getting up early so I can put several hours in on my Liberty classes (the two summer seasons overlap two weeks so I have five classes right now.) Since it is Monday Paul and Cody had to go to work. If there is one principle of church planting that Cody and Paul demonstrate it is the willingness to work. Their two year Nehemiah funding is finishing up this month. So, it is either call it quits or “cowboy up.” They were asked to join the Rodeo Association because of their work ethic. If there is one thing that westerners value it is a person who is a hard worker. So these two guys have gotten jobs because they were called by God to Livingston and that has not changed just because funding issues.

Paul and Cody are examples of a bi-vocational strategy. Paul had a successful banking career before entering seminary and moving to Montana. He now works at the hot dog and burger shack. Since it is not a heated building it closes in the fall. But during the summer it is the place to see people. Paul could probably make more money working as a night watchman somewhere. But, he would not see all the people.

The one place everybody visits in Livingston.

The one place everybody visits in Livingston.

Cody started his new job last week and today was his third day at work. He is a case manager at a counseling service which deal with juveniles from dysfunctional families. Almost all the cases are families from Park County. Cody’s undergraduate degree was in sociology so it is a good fit. Again, the strategy was to find employment that promoted networking in the community. Cody’s job is more long term than Paul’s, but both men see their work as another opportunity to become known by their neighbors. After work both men were back to ministry. It makes for long days but God will bless their commitment.

The main question someone considering church planting has to answer is what are you willing to do to obey God’s calling. If you only obey because some organization or institution will pay your way, then save yourself some grief and don’t go.

Cody's new job.

Cody's new job,Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.

The other day a church planter arrived in Montana. He came from a Southern Baptist Church, but was affiliated with an independent church planting organization. He stopped in Livingston and spoke with Cody. He was from Florida and had never been west of the Mississippi.  He had never been to Montana and was headed to a small town near Livingston. I am afraid he is in for quite a culture shock. Just to show the how Montana is a different culture, look at the pictures below. Notice the bottom sign. The other picture is a church announcement from Sunday’s service. Paul and Cody benefited from the pre-deployment preparations that Dave Howeth, ADOM, developed for the association’s church planting strategy. That preparation is essential.

Hotel sign in Livingston.

Hotel sign in Livingston.

Upcoming event at Cornerstone.

Upcoming event at Cornerstone.

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