Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Great Adventure, Part 2

This pastor had a vision for his church to do a women's retreat. He called to see if we had any openings in our calendar for 2010. He said he would take any date we could give. And he also shared some specifics about his vision for the event, all of which I resonated with in my spirit. We had closed our booking for the year. But I talked to Angela about it; since her parents live in Jackson, I thought maybe we could kind of consider it a work-vacation weekend. The kids could ride horses and four-wheelers with their grandparents, and we could do the event at the church. She agreed. We gave him a date in April. We were pumped about it.

Then I got a call from him (his name is Ben) a couple of weeks later. This one was less lighthearted. He called me to tell me that his worship pastor had resigned to take a job at a university. He was calling because he felt like the Lord led him to call me...presumably to help him find a worship leader. I knew I could help him find his guy. My heart did not really consider even for a moment that I might possibly be the guy. But since I know so many great guys in worship ministry, I felt well-equipped to be a good connector of people in this situation.

He wanted to visit face to face to talk about it, so he drove to Franklin one day (Jackson is less than 2 hours west of Nashville) so we could spend the day talking about what he's looking for in a worship pastor. I did some preliminary work..made him a list of 6 or 7 people...listed their basic facts, listed what I perceived as strengths and weaknesses of each one, and listed why I thought each one would be an asset to the church.

He got here early one morning and we went straight to it. We started talking about his vision for his church, what he was looking for. We talked about his calling – how he came into his calling as a pastor. We talked about our wives and kids (they have four kids ages 5 and under). We talked “shop” – church stuff. I love talking church shop. Love talking about serving this generation with other people who love it. Strangely, we had this eerily close rapport. We talked for much of the day, and I made it through my list of worship guys for him. But he was not interested in the list. He checked out for much of the list. He finally said, “I hate your stupid list. Get your list outta my face,” or something funny to that effect. He was not there for my list. He was there because the Lord put me on his heart as the guy for his church. I practically laughed him out of my house. No disrespect meant. I just knew that it was something I wouldn't even consider...my schedule is so crazy...our boundaries are nicely set...this Cottrell train is moving, and wasn't about to jump tracks. He might have been disappointed, but I didn't budge. It simply wasn't a possibility. His offer was even very accommodating: continue doing what I'm doing - Living Proof, other travels, recording, writing - and just make my home base there with them. He said they had a staff for me that would help me make it all happen, and would make it so that the church wouldn't miss a beat when I'm away. But it still seemed equivalent to going to live on Jupiter to me. Not a possibility.

We had had a great day...even had a 20-minute encounter with Steven Curtis and Marybeth Chapman at Target. Ran into my pastor's wife at Starbucks. It was a fun day. He headed home that afternoon.

A couple of days went by…going on with life…texting occasionally with this pastor. He still talked of being convinced that I might be the guy. But I wasn’t budging. Then that Saturday I got a direct message on my twitter account from him that said:

"Ok, so I couldn't sleep last night. Prayed HIS will for YOUR life audibly with my wife, and silently as she drifted off."

That's funny, because I could not sleep that night either.

46 comments:

Fran said...

There are so many parts to this story that just make me wanna bawl. I love all the God details and how He has woven all this together. Praying for you and that sweet wife of yours and those precious kids.

Blessings~
Fran

Susan B. said...

Can't wait for Part 3!

3girlsmom said...

Still loving it....

Holly Solomon Barrett said...

Love this journey. Hate that the posts come to an end. Argh!!! Know that God is working!

Laura said...

I am loving this! Amazing because every time my husband and I have moved ministry positions, there have been many sleepless nights.

Mel @ Studio MCA Designs said...

Love these "God is so much bigger than I am" kind of stories. Bless you for sharing the whole thing.

Tiffani said...

Are you kidding? More than 2 parts?!

Waiting still. Excited still.

Wanting to know, still! ;)

Anonymous said...

How exciting, scary and fun. God is wonderful.

a la carte said...

Can Not wait to hear the rest. The Lord is so funny sometimes In the way He moves.

Heidi said...

I knew you couldn't wait 2 days.

I. Love. This. Story.

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

I am with seista Fran God is in the details cannot wait for part 3 but do not leave us seista's hanging to long will be praying for you and your sweet family
Carol

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Hmmm, seems the God train may trump the Cottrell train....Let's hear part 3. Praying that your heart just knows the right answer.

Leah

RussR. said...

A pastor who throws a Nacho Libre reference at your list is gold. "Get your list outta my face!"

Deidre said...

I love reading about this, Travis. I watched the video last night. I mainly love the story of how God puts puzzle pieces together and how His providence often catches us by surprise, but is so much more than we can dream up for ourselves.

Reminds me of Priscilla's message at Deeper Still Greensboro when she said, when praying she gives God a list and then says, "But WHATEVER YOU HAVE IN MIND .... DO THAT!" Oh, He knows so much more than us, doesn't he?

I am thrilled for you and your family. Not because of the 'where' or 'what' (although I know you will be blessed wherever He leads you), but I am thrilled you and your family were able (and still are able) to experience such a profound walk with the Lord through this process. He has chosen every step and that alone has to be thrilling to surrender obedience to. How wonderful that must FEEL!

Praying for you and your sweet family!

Deidre
Hickory, NC

Daniel Semsen said...

oh my GOODNESS. You are just loving this, aren't you?

stinkin' cliffhangers...

Lindsee said...

I'm loving this adventure of a story. It's like a mini-series! Thanks for writing it all out so we can rejoice with you! Anticipating the rest of the story.

ocean mommy said...

Love, love, love this wild ride. :) Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

Blessings!
stephanie

Dianne said...

Love this unfolding story so much!

Jennifer in CT said...

You took him to Target? Interesting plot twist.

Living4Him said...

loving this mystery that has His hand all over it.

Hayley said...

I'm loving reading all of this! How exciting! And I love that your train is moving - isn't it great when God helps it jump tracks!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I just have to say run, run fast and far and take your precious family with you! Church work should be fantastic, but the reality is that it's painful and hard and leaves you wounded. If you must, I pray for you,

Kristie said...

far better to risk bearing scars from biting sheep than to find yourself swallowed up in the belly of a whale. :)

Sounds like an adventure indeed!

Alisa said...

I remember . . . Somewhere - a man plans his course, but the lord determines his steps. Well, I'm just saying . . . :) loving this story that is a true journey. Thanks for sharing. I'm on the edge, waiting. Nope, not patiently! Blessings, alisa

Anonymous said...

And......??????

Kelly S. said...

WOW
Praying for your family :)

Heidi said...

Did you see Justin Timberlake at Target, too?

I hope that a third thing does not happen to them...

YourVJ said...

Is there a blue coast in Jackson?

Christine said...

God is so exciting to serve! Praying for your family and this endeavor.

Christina said...

Is this the next New York Times best seller? I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter.

Kelly said...

I'm with Jennifer in CT---besides the ending to this great story--I need to understand why 2 guys headed to Target after lunch? I only thought us girls did that? : )

Kristi Butler said...

I'm so glad to know why God's been prompting me to pray for you so much lately!!! May He continue to work in every detail!!

Lindsey said...

Can't wait to hear the rest!

Anonymous said...

i am so glad that Ben listened to God and came and talked to you. It is a great story and we will be so happy when May comes.

fuzzytop said...

Who was it that said, "...Man makes plans, and God laughs." Anyway, sounds like that is being played out here.

Praying for you and your family, for His blessings on your path and endeavors.

Adrienne

P.S. I agree with Jennifer and Heidi - You're going to have to explain the impromptu trip to Target...

Allison said...

so, IF you're considering (or have already accepted), glad to know you have the freedom to still do Living Proof events. i love, love, LOVE beth! but worship just COULDN't be the same if you're not there!!!

connorcolesmom said...

Aaah - God is so good
I just love Him :)
Waiting for Part 3
(with a BIG grin on my face and a happy heart)

Sheryl said...

God is at work...so, give it up! What's Part 3?

AMENMom said...

In what department at Target did you run into the Chapmans? This is a really important detail. I'm guessing housewares.

Brannon Hancock said...
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Brannon Hancock said...

Okay, so I'm going to be the ONLY guy to comment again and say: "That is TOO COOL." I love stories of how God messes with our tidy little plans.

(We met at the Worship 424 conference at Cedarville, by the way - the couple w/ the newborn.)

Looking forward to introducing our congregation to much of "Run to the Cross" this Lent/Easter season. Thanks for all you do.

Kelli said...

Seriously intrigued...

Nancy in Charleston said...

Cannot believe you are making us wait. And I may possibly have to move to this place if you'll be leading worship there most Sundays!!

Anonymous said...

pack your bags, travis. this all sounds too familiar. Remember what I told you on the phone a couple of weeks ago? "It's gotta' be all God." And so far...He is all I see in this. Praying for you and Angela and your kids! "Make the most of every opportunity!" (Eph. 5:17) ~ Lisa Cronk

Joan Brown said...
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