Month: May 2015

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A Select Few…

A Select Few…

Matthew 22:14 ESV

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Upon his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the religous leaders sought to corner him and Jesus, in is classic style, spoke to them in parables. At the heels of a parable he gives to describe the Kingdom of Heaven, he says these words, “many are called, but few are chosen.” This was not only an indictment against the Pharisees, but also a proclamation of who shall enter the Kingdom. Who are the chosen? Without bogging you down with theological arguments about predestination, free will, etc., the chosen can simply be understood to be those who are the children of God by faith in Christ and marked by the Holy Spirit.

As the days press on, many have offered feedback about the journey we have embarked upon. Some encouraging and supportive, some curious and indifferent, and others doubtful. All in all, we have learned to be resolved and content regardless of people’s opinions because ultimately they don’t matter anyway. (the opinions, not the people)

When you choose to be one of the few and live your purpose, you will always get feedback from the majority. Some will encourage you, some will be indifferent, and others will be doubtful. When the feedback comes, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). When you get cornered, listen to the voice that matters, the one that is sure, the one that directs and affirms. Thank those that support you, inspire the indifferent, and ignore the doubters. Run with the select few and become all that God has called you to be! After all, life is much sweeter when it’s lived on purpose…

Grace and Peace,

Prof. Q

What’s Next?

What’s Next?

Having come back from Omaha just a few days ago, the meditations, thoughts, and experiences are still fresh. The rides around town, the conversations late at night, the meals, and the experience of the city still dance around in my head. Even though reflecting is nice and how I do wish we could have stayed longer, the relevant question that stares me in the face is, “What next…?”

Honestly? The next step that the Lord has given is to prepare for growth. Up until this point, the focus has been prepare to see; prepare to see more of the vision and the opportunity. Now the focus is shifting to prepare for the growth of disciples by putting in place the necessary tools and resources to help facilitate that growth. This is where the rubber meets the proverbial road, where feet are put onto prayers, and action is taken!

Won’t you pray for us as we move forward? Visit and browse the site and as you feel lead, show some PDA.

Grace and Peace,

Prof. Q

GO AND BE FREE

GO AND BE FREE

When reminiscing through old photo albums of special occasions and major milestones, you won’t find very many pictures of me compared to others, although, I was more than likely present. This phenomena is not an oversight because, more often than not, my absence was by design. That is because I choose to leave my mark in a different way. My name is Anthony Starke and I am a silent supporter.

Every special moment requires someone working behind the scenes making sure that your moment is a memorable one. And, while some love the spotlight, in the wings is where I work my magic. But, making my indelible marks on the minute details of other people’s experiences has a major pitfall, one that you may not expect but know all too well if you are like me. You become subjugated to a supporting cast role in your own autobiography. You’re dependable, loyal and ask for little in return and, over time other people’s affection for you becomes hinged upon what you have done or can do for them.

In the best seller, The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho writes: “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” Over the past year I’ve been learning just that. When I was presented with an amazing opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream I quickly found myself faced with adversity from the most unlikely places. My amazing opportunity became a minor inconvenience for many of those whom I had faithfully supported. Their true feelings were most evident in their response to the news – it wasn’t jealousy, envy or hate but an unfamiliar uneasiness and all-telling hesitation. This is not to say that these individuals were malicious or that they were consciously aware of their lack of support, rather they struggled with the thought of my liberation.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbecKv2xR14&w=560&h=315]
Maya Angelou tells the story of leaving her mother’s home as a seventeen-year-old single mother. During her recollection, she states that her mother liberated her to life, “she released me, she freed me to say I may have something in me that will be of value and maybe not just to me.” Love liberates. Authentic love requires removing oneself from the equation in order to support that which is best for the object of one’s love and affection.

I harbor no hard-feelings or ill-will for those who struggled with my liberation because I know that it means they care for me in their own way. But this experience has taught me that I must take center stage in my own life’s story. And, if I intend to live a life of purpose, I cannot live my life, build my identity and make my decisions based on how it inconveniences others. My life is my obligation, of which I am accountable.

~ The Riddler

When nobody else sees it

When nobody else sees it

Vision is an interesting thing.

With vision, you can change the world. Without it, the world is sure to change you.

I’ve had the idea floating around in my head of starting a church since I was in high school. As a senior, a few friends and I would gather together for Bible study, worship and fellowship each Tuesday. We called ourselves Young Christian Fellowship. It was around that time that I started thinking about the purpose of “church” and its components.

Fast forward to Christmas morning of 2011. It was around 2:30 in the morning I woke up out of my sleep, sat up in the bed, and saw three little words in my mind that would change my life: CHURCH ON PURPOSE.

That’s all I would be able to see for another 3 years until venturing to Omaha, Nebraska. It was there that those three little words would grow into a church, and a church into a mission, a mission into a calling, and a calling into a reason for existing.

All along the way I’ve constantly reminded myself of two things:

  1. If it’s from God, let Him lead you through it
  2. Since it’s from God, everybody won’t see it

The first one of course has been the daily inward battle. When God shows you something special, He never gives you the full picture all at once. So it can be tempting to take the little bit of that picture that you CAN see and try to color in all of the other spots with what YOU think should go there. If there’s anything this journey has taught me is that THE PICTURE LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER WHEN YOU JUST WAIT AND LET HIM FILL IT IN. I will talk more about this in a future blog about this journey with Directional Revelation.

The second nugget though, has been both the inward AND outward battle. We live in a world that will celebrate one individual for going against the grain in one way, while trying to destroy an individual that goes against the grain in another way. It can be challenging doing something out of the norm, not because you want everyone to see it and support, but because you want SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE to see it and support. The scariest parts of the journey are always when you’re walking alone.

Returning from Omaha back in August having committed to following God’s directions to plant Church On Purpose, the prevailing thought in my mind was “What if nobody sees it?”. In those times when I would begin to think about how others would respond to the vision, a song we used to sing all the time as a little boy at my home church Union Branch Baptist Church in Chesterfield, Virginia would pop up out of nowhere. It would get stuck in my head and I would find myself humming those words for hours “I will go, if I have to go by myself”.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETgh-sqJ8QI]
The comfort those words would provide was always unexpected and appreciated. Those words echo a deep seeded faith in God’s superior commitment to me as I remain committed to the vision He’s given me. As those words would minister to me, story after story from the Bible would flash in my mind of all the everyday people that God used for extraordinary things. I would not only find comfort, but I would find fuel to press forward with the confidence of having my heavenly father leading the way.

Over the last 9 months, I’ve shared the vision of Church On Purpose with countless people. Some have seen it, most have not. Some have supported it, most have not. And you know what, I’m ok with that now. What I’ve learned is to never EXPECT others to see it because God has his own plan for them and if their purpose doesn’t align with what we’re doing, then I don’t want them TRYING TO MAKE IT WORK. We will be fine doing what we were created to do, and pray they will be fine doing what God created THEM to do. Everyone wont be a part of what Church On Purpose is going to do, and God is totally awesome for that.

So to those of you that have supported along the way, THANK YOU! It means so much to know that you understand the work God is preparing us for enough to pray for us, donate to the work, and offer encouragement along the way. Actions always speak louder than words, and may God bless you abundantly for your actions of support.

To those who don’t see it, won’t see it, or can’t see it. Thank you too! Your questions have caused me to consistently evaluate and re-evaluate my position of faith along this journey and your words of doubt have deepened my resolve to pursue God even more passionately in hopes of being a testimony to you that GOD IS STILL WORKING MIRACLES, STILL CALLING PEOPLE OUT OF THE LAND OF THEIR FOREFATHERS TO PLACES HE WILL GIVE THEM, STILL GIVING VICTORY BEFORE THE BATTLE BEGINS, AND STILL USING ORDINARY EVERYDAY PEOPLE TO EXPAND THE KINGDOM!

If you’re reading this because there’s something inside of you that is calling you to more than what you’re living, then let me leave you with is:

God sees all, so who cares if nobody else sees it
God is the provider of all things, so who cares if you don’t have what you THINK you need
God is the author or your vision, so who cares if YOU don’t see every last detail
and last…
The only way to see more of God than you’ve seen, is to do something you’ve never done.

Don’t depend on what you see, or what others see. Afterall, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Remember, EVERYTHING has purpose, including you!

~Coach J

Spying the Land…

Spying the Land…

“Follow the Holy Spirit…” That is the refrain that has been ringing in our hearts for the past few weeks. With all of the plans, conversations, rides around the city of Omaha, and connections that we have made, the place we end back up is “follow the Holy Spirit.”

Here is what we’ve come to realize, embrace, and commit to make a hallmark of Church on Purpose; we must remain open to, seek, and yield to the Spirit’s direction in everything we do. That includes the planned and the unplanned, the expected and the unexpected.

As we rode around the city, “spying the land” we attentively looked for signs, confirmation, and direction. And time after time He proved Himself faithful to lead us and guide to the right people and places. The experience has been amazing, reassuring, and filling.

Plase join us in praying for our obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Selah.

~Professor Q

Omaha ALIVE!

CoP Alive

WE FINALLY MADE IT!!!

After months of planning, last minute hiccups and readjustments, and leaving at 2 am, we finally made it to Omaha after 16 hours on the road!

After getting settled in we ended up watching the movie Boys Town. It’s an older black and white that tells the story of Father Edward Flanagan‘s amazing vision to build a town for boys in need. The movie does a remarkable job of communicating the heart at the core of Father Flanagan’s ministry and how impactful one person can be when they chase the vision in their heart. The movie, which I highly recommend you watch here, shows the growth of the Boys Town vision from 5 boys to over 500. And since we are here in Omaha, it only made sense to take a trip out Dodge to see what Boys Town has become today. That would have to wait until tomorrow though. hahaha

A good night’s rest prepared us for a full day of experiencing Omaha. It started with worship, which was followed by a trip to my favorite place in Omaha Big Mama’s Kitchen. I had the chance to experience Big Mama’s food when I was here back in August and sense then I haven’t shut up about it to the others. But even more meaningful than that was having the opportunity to meet, sit with, and listen to Big Mama. Here wisdom and willingness to share played a MAJOR role in my journey to the realization of Church On Purpose. The restaurant was super busy, like it is every Sunday after church, but she still made it out to give hugs and meet the crew. I really excited for them and the opportunity we have to go back and sit with her on Tuesday.

Following worship and dinner, there was nothing left to do but hop in the truck and ride out! Anthony drove us around Northwest, West, South, and Midtown Omaha allowing everyone to see that there really is more to Nebraska  that just cows and corn! (at least in Omaha) There were a lot of questions asked, some unanswered, but you could smell the smoke from the wheels turning in everyone’s head. They were beginning to put people, places, buildings, colors, and life to their dreams and visions. The limitations were removed and they were beginning to dream even bigger.

What am I talking about “they”?!

I WAS BEGINNING TO DREAM BIGGER!

We made it back to Anthony’s apartment and closed the day watching the Central Park Five. If you haven’t seen it, you should make it a priority! We shared a meaningful dialogue following the movie and Quentin, Anthony and I wrapped the day with a review of the day’s events and discussion about impact.

There’s so much that happened in that 24 hours that I KNOW this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface. It’s one of those days that you just have to experience. It’s a trip you just have to experience, and I’m thankful that Jene’, Quentin, and Priscilla have the opportunity to see Omaha for themselves.

There have been a lot of people with a lot of questions, most of which don’t get directed to me. There have been a handful of vocal supporters and a number of vocal detractors, most of whom don’t say it to me. But coming here in August, and now being back here again, I AM MORE CONFIDENT IN WHAT GOD IS CALLING ME TO DO AND WHERE HE IS CALLING ME TO DO IT THAN I HAVE BEEN AT ANY POINT IN MY LIFE.

So I ask, what is God calling you to? And where is He calling you to?

You have purpose. Go live LIFE on purpose!

~Coach J

A Land I Never Knew…

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” -Hebrews 11:8 ESV

Over the past week or so, this Scripture at the forefront of my meditation. Abraham’s faith never ceases to take my breath away. Imagine growing up in your hometown and living there for over 70 years. You have several generations of family there, you made your livelihood there, everything you own and everything that you have become is tied to that place. Then one day, God comes and gives a tremendous vision that not only scares you, but excites you. Then, the punchline comes: you must leave your homeland to go a land you NEVER KNEW. He doesn’t give you the location, doesn’t even give you a road map. He just says, “Get up, grab your family and start walking in this direction. Trust me, the place I’m taking you is crucial to fulfilling that vision I just showed you.” Say whaaaaaat?!!?! Regardless of what Abraham may have felt or thought, he obediently trusted God and went.

Here I sit typing, having a similar experience. Never before had I been to, let alone ever considered moving to Omaha, Nebraska for any reason. Having lived in pretty much one place my entire life, making a move of this magnitude would be very daunting given any other circumstance. Yet in the face of all the challenges that may lie before us, I know and trust that where God is leading me is crucial to the next phase of life. Thus, when my wife and I considered Omaha, I simply said, yes. With no idea on where we will live, what we will exactly do when we get out there, I still was assured (and still am) confident that even though we will be moving to a land we never knew to take on the charge God has laid before us, everything will work out.

I’ve learned that faith simply is trust in God with or without a plan…

~Professor Q