Having been a part of planting Mercy Hill Church almost seven years ago, I still get the question, “What would you do differently?” I find I have a hard time choosing between all the things we probably didn’t get right, but one thing I think of immediately is the struggle we had in building a generosity culture in the church.
The college town my family and I now call home is no metropolis—you can drive from one side to the other in about 15 minutes. But I’m convinced that planting churches in towns like mine is key to seeing spiritual awakening in the 21st century.
As a new Christian at one of the fastest-growing universities in one of the most influential cities in America, I felt a strong urge as a college student to share my faith. I naively switched my major to religious studies and found many academic challenges to my Christian faith. I began to arm myself with introductory apologetics books that equipped me well for classroom discussions and research papers.
Over the past 20 years, sports have grown to new heights, with more opportunities and greater publicity than ever before. As this has happened, it’s made it more difficult for families to figure out how to engage in sports in a healthy way amidst all the pressures, potential idolatry, and never-ending opportunities at hand.
Growing up, conversation around the dinner table was always lively. My family talked over one another, there was constant banter, and we were very sarcastic. It was just the way we communicated with each other. My wife did not come from a family like this, and when we married, she struggled to see the fun in needing to interrupt people and talk louder than everyone to get a word in. When my family would get together for dinner, my wife was outnumbered five to one, so majority wins and the banter would begin.