Never thought I would be helping launch a church at the ripe old age of 59, nor did Tricia, my wife. But here we are. Northampton MA is not an easy place to do so either. Naming it imagine/northampton adds to the challenge. What kind of church has such a name? Is it a cult? Is it a joke? Where is Jesus in this?
And I am something called a spiritual formation catalyst to boot. What the heck is that? Why aren't I a pastor or reverend, something easy to recognize like that? Why do I have to be so obtuse. so different, so weird?
Also, 59 is not 29, or even 39. Church planting is for young men and women who can handle the myriad pressures and challenges. Old guys need to just be old guys: over the hill, geriatric, addled and preoccupied with old guy specialties like prostates and nose hair.
But old guys can and do plant churches. We have a vision that retirement can't touch. We hear Jesus say "will you go?" And we go, maybe a little slower and having to check our notes to make sure we don't forget stuff, but we go. To not go would be to settle for a lesser life and a sagging faith. Old guys like me are not happy with the spiritual status quo, the "easy does it," lifestyle. We want to finish our race running as hard as gray guys can for the prize of prizes. We want to see Jesus and say: "Pappy, I ran the best could."
So I'm in Northampton planting imagine convinced it will make a difference in a way nothing else I could do these days. In the latter days old men will dream dreams and follow them as best they can...as best I can. See you in Northampton . . . .