Last year was an extraordinary year for Open Church but almost all in unconventional ways.
January 2013 – Resources Launched & Financial Breakthrough
After two years of struggle, refinement, obstacles, and providence, we launched Open Church’s resource sharing in January 2013. It has been more of a beta test featuring only 16 resources, but those few resources have accounted for an astounding 5,081 downloads worth a combined $54,382!
Craig Van Korlaar worked pro bono in 2011 to lay the foundation for Open Church but transitioned to an advisory role in 2012 and became a board member in 2013. As for my journey, finances stabilized in 2012 as I worked several consulting jobs and sold ads on my blog, but it left very little time to work on Open Church. So in December 2012, I prayed asking God, “If you want me to work on Open Church full-time, you either need to bring in more donors or boost my blog’s ad revenue.” The next month the ad revenue grew tremendously! It has been enough to provide for my family’s monthly living expenses and basic Open Church expenses.
Spring & Summer 2013 – Beginning a New Season
By March, I sensed I should begin traveling later that year to develop key relationships. After much prayer, it was clear my family needed to make a lifestyle of it. So we bought a small RV in June.
As someone who loves to plan, I was going to schedule 4 months of meetings and then leave a few buffer days for the Holy Spirit to move in different cities. But the planning time was lost helping an extended family member through some unexpected challenges.
Then a wise friend gave me good counsel about how I was going about it all wrong. Rather than planning my meetings around who I think I should be meeting with, I should simply pray and go wherever I sense the Holy Spirit’s peace. So I did, and it was good.
Fall 2013 – 90 Days of RVing
As we left Oklahoma City for Dallas on the first day of our travels, I sensed that God was about to shift my plans, strategies, and blueprints for Open Church. And He did. Every few weeks has brought a new piece of the puzzle – one that radically reshapes what came before it. I would begin rewriting Open Church’s vision blueprint and then stop because a new piece would be revealed and throw a monkey wrench in the equation.
In these months, the more spiritual clarity I gained, the less logistical clarity I had and the more difficult it became to even describe what Open Church is.
What is Next?
I have much to share with you. In the coming months, I will write about where I think God is leading Open Church.
To see a map of where we’ve been, visit: bit.ly/shafferRV