Posts filed under ‘oak leaf church’
I know, I know, I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been busy, but i know that’s what everyone says.
Anyway, all is well in the Lukaszewski home for now. Emma is doing much better at peeing and pooping in the appropriate place and Lauren is getting smarter every day in 1st grade, and well, Matthew is just the cutest little guy on the planet. I find it much harder to discipline him than the girls. He just gives me that smile and cocks his head to the side, and i just melt. I guess that’s just what it’s like with sons and their mom. I love it!
I feel a little like Nehemiah these days because I am doing a lot of “rebuilding”. Literally. The building that Oak Leaf has purchased will have a full scale coffee bar and I am in charge of the renovation and design for that portion of the building. It has been a lot of fun dreaming and designing, but to be honest the work part has not been all that fun. I still have primer and paint on my hands from 2 days ago, my legs are bruised from all the demo work and i have ruined more t-shirts that I can count. But some really awesome blessing have come out of this project too. I have been able to meet and get to know a lot of people that attend Oak Leaf. A lot of volunteers are helping us out. I am amazed every day that people show up and just work. And that’s after they work all day at their “real jobs”. God is so great and He is really doing some amazing stuff with the people in Cartersville. I am so glad and privileged to be a part of Oak Leaf.
Michael did a whole lot of research on church planting. I think he read over 100 books on the subject along with books on marketing, business, strategy formation, staff development and leadership. He found Westridge Church in Hiram, GA and learned that they have a church planters school and internship. We knew this was a God-thing. They even told us about a few cities in the Atlanta area that needed a church plant. Cartersville was one of those cities. We had never heard of it.
We decided to stay in AR until Emma was born. We had a couple months to wait, but finally, in May 2006 we loaded up our 3 week old baby, our 3 year old daughter, Lauren and a moving van of belongings and moved into an apartment in Cartersville, GA. We loved the small town feel and the local businesses. We weren’t really happy about staying in Cartersville but a few months into it, we knew God had us here for a reason.
So there we were in Arkansas at a big traditional baptist church doing… youth ministry once again. I was pregnant with our 2nd child, we bought a house and I was working at the same church full-time. We had only been in AR for a couple months before we admitted that we had made a huge mistake. We hated it there. Not because the church or the job was awful, but because we were not where God wanted us to be. We began discussing the church planting thing again and we concluded that we just needed to wait and save money. We couldn’t really do this with little kids and no money and living so far from anyone we knew, could we? We just couldn’t put it to rest and Michael was still feeling God leading him to church planting.
I can still remember standing in our kitchen and finally agreeing to make the leap of faith and plant a church. We both had come to this decision on our own and we both had been feeling the pull to Atlanta, GA. Thus began the journey to Cartersville, a place we didn’t even know existed. What freedom we experienced once we decided to obey God. I can’t tell you how great it felt to make the leap. Immediately, God blessed us with a peace. We suddenly couldn’t wait to get on with whatever He wanted us to do.
I have been asked a lot recently about the Oak Leaf story. I guess others want to know how it came to be and what the journey has been like. I say “journey” because it has been long and it isn’t over yet. If I could sum it up in a few words it would be “a leaf of faith”. Planting a church has been one of the hardest thing I have ever done, but definitely one of the most rewarding and inspiring.
I will start with a little background info. Michael did youth ministry and he did it very well. He could probably do it blindfolded better than anyone. Anyway, he had been doing it for close to 12 years and then something changed. God began to speak to him about bigger plans. During the same time, God was stretching me and challenging me to get out of my comfort zone. I was resisting it with everything I could. I liked living in my hometown and being near my family. I liked youth ministry. The idea of staring a church from nothing scared me. How can you do church with no building, or offices or money or people? Somehow, though, He led me back to Jeremiah 29:11, which says that God “knows the plans He has for me”.
In 2004 we knew that God wanted us to plant a church somewhere but at that time we weren’t ready or willing to make the “leap” so we ended up in Arkansas….
Michael and I are a part of a journey group that meets every Wednesday night. It is such a valuable part of our lives that we pay a babysitter each week so we can attend. I look forward to this time every week. Our journey group has such an amazing group of people. We share our lives together and grow together. It is not just a social group or a bible study group… it is a family. All of our family lives in Florida, so our journey group is our “cartersville family”. We can share our joys, defeats, triumphs and struggles; we talk about our kids, marriages, jobs, families; we vent our frustration, and we give praise where it is due; we do outreach to the community and we take care of our own as well. If you are not a part of a journey group or the like, then get plugged in somewhere. You are really missing out.
Thanks to my journey group for the birthday celebration. I loved my cake, balloons and card. You all really made it special! Love you guys
Oak leaf is moving to Woodland PAC. My family is very excited about the change of venue for church. Lauren thinks it is so cool that we will be in high school for church. She is almost 6 and thinks that highschoolers must be the coolest poeple on earth so being in their school may rub off on her. I am ready to move on to the next level. There are so many seats to fill there and I am excited about the stories we will hear this year. God is all over this church and I am so happy to be a part of it.