I’m sitting on my sofa in Cork and reflectively listening to God on the eve of us meeting people interested in Presence church. Later tonight Presence church plant will have begun to take its first steps and we will have done church In Starbucks for the first time. I will have seen familiar faces and hopefully have met some new ones too. And yet what I’m most struck by tonight is how God’s biggest hobbies is to restore and show love to us. He really is so good.
This time 9 years ago I was leading a small church plant in Galway on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. It was the best few years of my life. Earlier this week God told me to go back to Galway for Friday night and for today by myself and hang out with some friends from Journey church and Bethel. Now I’m back in Cork after my driving about to Galway and back and reflecting on all that God has said and done in the last 30 hours. God’s heart is always to restore and pour more goodness into his kids. I’m convinced of this more than ever. Convinced because that has been my experience. I love what he has restored in me personally and excited what else He will do in me. I’m excited to see and hear how other people’s lives will change and experience the restoration that comes from the Father.
It’s so like God to bring things full circle and show the completion of something in my life that has taken well over a decade. It’s so like him to show the Galway season of my life is over and it’s time to know that before I walk into the new assignment He has for my family. It’s like His way of letting me that season of my life has been complete and it’s time to pick up the new thing He has for me.
The price to move forward in the kingdom is always everything that God has given us to date. It always costs us everything but it is a price I willingly and gladly pay having seen the fruit of what come out of it. Being in Galway this weekend God let me glimpse some fruit of some of our labour ten years ago. And I truly believe it won’t take ten years to see the fruit of our labour here in Cork. He wants this more than us. This is the time for us to behind to play our role in God drawing a city and a nation back to himself. I am totally convinced of this. I have sold my house and left a great job that I loved and moved my whole family for this. Not just to be a pastor or start a church but to see a city of people rebuilt and heaven come to Ireland. To see God known for his outrageous goodness and Fatherly love in this little yet stunningly beautiful and special part of the world. I know this sounds like foolishness to many people, including those in the church.
I am kinda foolish at times.
Yet I believe with all of my heart that God loves Cork.
If God can move powerfully in other parts of the world he can do it here.
If God can pour out His presence in other times in History He can do it again in our lifetime. We will see His goodness in the land of the living as King David once said.
Or as the line in Lord of the Rings: Return of the king goes “we will live to see these days renewed.”
I have been told so many times that this dream can’t work because Cork and the Republic of Ireland is a church planters graveyard and is not a Godly place.
God still seems to think it’s a good idea to call people here including us and He still loves Cork. And He has given me a heart for this great city and it’s people and loves this land.
Watch what God is about to do in this city.
I haven’t even started Presence Church yet but saying yes to laying down Galway and moving to Cork is something I don’t regret one little bit because I know God wastes nothing and always restores. It’s always His heart. Sometimes it just takes a whole lot longer than it needs to if we listen to the wrong messages or a whole lot longer than we want it to. This is gonna be awesome in every sense of the word.
We can’t fail. The only way we fail in the kingdom is if we fail to respond to God and fail to follow Him. Trusting and obeying and stepping out is never failure in His eyes. Only the eyes of others sometimes. God seems to have a different idea of success can look like. Here…….we…….go…….