Sunday, April 8, 2012

Locke Family Update

Two years ago, Ben came back from a get-together with other twenty-somethings with "something to talk to me about".  This is a normal aspect of our relationship, and I have come to expect it (i.e. Ben goes somewhere without me = a life altering bomb being dropped upon his arrival home).  This particular time, it was that he felt God was calling us to pastor a church.  My response?  "Heck NO." with a capital N-O.  It was a responsibility I did not want, plus I did not want to wear pastor's wives clothing while sitting in the front row smiling and saying "Amen" at all the appropriate times.  No thank you.  And so, the conversation ended there, and picked up again six months later.

During the six months following that initial conversation, God began to speak to me about this subject, too, despite my strict insistence that I did NOT want to pastor a church.  I told Ben one day that I agreed that we should explore pastoring.  We didn't know what this would look like, but in our "experience", we knew that it could look one of two ways.  We either 1) step in and pastor an existing church that needs a new pastor, or we 2) start a new church.  We explored both. 

It was at this time that we also began processing through the unique things that God has placed in our hearts.  The things that are unique to who we are as people.  We started to articulate these things, and figure out how they would work out in real life.  We began to see that what we were planning to do was out-of-the-box.  Non-traditional.  Not the norm.  We were okay with that, but had no idea how to do it.  We had numerous conversations during this time with people that we respected.  They encouraged us and asked us questions that forced us to keep digging deeper.  The things they were saying to us further confirmed that we were on a good track with the things God had been speaking to us.  This "new" thing we were being called to start would mean that Ben would no longer be working at Hillside, and further, that our family would no longer be attending the church we'd been part of for over 5 years.

And now for the million dollar questions...Where are we going, and what are we going to do?

Don't worry, we're not going too far.  In the next couple of months, we will be moving to South Reno.  We are very excited to see the house that God will have for us down there (if He could reveal that soon, I would be very appreciative).  Our last day at Hillside will be April 29th. 

Over the last two months, we have been meeting with Dave & Jami Harder (they will be coming, too) in preparation to move forward.  Very soon, we will be starting a weekly or bi-weekly get-together where we can invite people to hang out, eat together, get to know each other, and study the Bible.  This is the beginning of "church" for us.   We really want to be a blessing to the community where we will be living, and one of the ways that we see that happening is by attaching ourselves to a school.  We want to bless them in any way we can.  Maybe cleaning up the building on a regular basis?  Fixing stuff?  Tutoring students?  Painting a classroom?  Purchasing supplies for students and/or teachers?

And so all this launches us back to seven years ago when we went to Germany on a missions trip.  The pastor of the the German church was praying for us and one of the things he said was that our paradigm of church was going to change.  We didn't know then what that meant, but we're beginning to now.  I never imagined that our thoughts about church and how to "do" church would be so drastically different in just a short period of time, but they are.  Thinking of these words spoken 7 years ago gives me hope and more confirmation that we are doing exactly what God has called us to do.

And so, here we are!  We are excited to be moving into this next stage of life, pursuing all that God has called us to do and become.  Still have questions?  Ask!  We'd love to answer any of your questions.  Please be praying for us.  


  1. Well said Jess! It sounds like God is calling you and Ben to love God and to love people! Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! We are praying for you!

  2. Woot! I would love to show you my prayer journal one day where I wrote about a dream very familiar to this. You guys are totally on te right track friend. I am praying for sure. All the right people. All the right moves. All the right support. Amen

  3. Woot! I would love to show you my prayer journal one day where I wrote about a dream very familiar to this. You guys are totally on te right track friend. I am praying for sure. All the right people. All the right moves. All the right support. Amen

  4. Thanks for the comment, Shontell! That is really encouraging! I hope everything is going well for you and your family :)

  5. I had some catching up to do here on your blog and apparently your lives in general. I am praying for you Jess. I am excited to see this paradigm shift and how different the Ben Locke crew will do "church". I can't think of better, more faithful friends to enter into an adventure like this than Dave and Jamie. Those are good peeps! All my love and lots of prayers.



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