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Tony Merida: Welcome to ”Church buildings Planting Church buildings,” a podcast on the theology and observe of church planting. I’m your host, Tony Merida. The problem of elevating kids to develop into Christ-honoring women and men whereas being a busy church planter and hardworking pastor are many. Now we have to think about points like time administration, giving every youngster particular person consideration, find out how to greatest commend Christ to our youngsters and find out how to give them a wholesome view of the church. These are about just a few of the challenges. In my discussions with pastors and planters, this topic usually comes up. Parenting is a privilege and a pleasure, however it’s arduous work and infrequently one stuffed with grief, disappointment, and struggling.
So how can we dad or mum and pastor effectively? How will you dad or mum loads of youngsters and plant a church effectively? And what about parenting adopted kids? What sort of distinctive challenges does that deliver? My visitor right now is a church planter with a full quiver of kids. Renaut Van der Riet is the lead pastor of Mosaic church in Orlando, Florida. He and his spouse Brooke are elevating eight youngsters. Renaut, welcome to the podcast.
Renaut van der Riet: Thanks ,man. It’s nice to be right here. Actually nice to be right here.
Tony: It’s nice to see you brother. Renaut and I simply had a gathering not way back in Houston with a variety of Acts 29 pastors and simply speaking about life, ministry, imaginative and prescient yeah, way forward for A29. It was a pleasure to only meet up with him a bit. And we share a standard pleasure and problem of parenting loads of youngsters.
Renaut: Sure, we do.
Tony: Together with adopted kids.
Renaut: Sure, we do.
Tony: And so we have been kindred spirits. So I’ve bought Renaut on the podcast as a result of I wanna seize his tales, doing super work in Orlando, but additionally I would like counseling myself. And so…
Renaut: Allow us to counsel each other, my pal. Allow us to counsel each other.
Tony: Why don’t you inform us slightly what about your self, the way you got here to religion and about your church Mosaic?
Renaut: Certain. In a nutshell, I grew up in South Africa really born and raised their dad and mom, born and raised there, and so forth, and so forth. Navy child and had the extraordinary privilege of rising up in a house that was a Christian house, not only a theoretically Christian house, however, you already know, dad and mom that truly love Jesus. They’d each grown up in elements of the religion that have been slightly bit extra personal. So like what my dad was, I feel Anglican rising up and my mother was Dutch reformed. After which after they bought married, they have been like, neither of these will work, in order that they jumped into the Baptist world and I feel didn’t essentially come to religion there, however discovered their religion by way of expression there. So I’m born into this house that Jesus is form of a part of the house, however not a legalistic approach or in a theoretical approach, simply it’s simply a part of life.
And so I, you already know, I used to assume to myself, it form of sucks I don’t have a very good testimony as a result of once you fill out these testimony sheets, it’s like earlier than you knew Jesus and I’m like, don’t keep in mind. After you knew Jesus, at all times been. Not that I’ve at all times recognized Jesus, however actually in some ways it has felt that approach. However now that I’m an grownup and I’ve kids, like I’ve the very best testimony on the complete planet the place I’m like, I don’t have darkish nights and drug addictions and loopy stuff to thrill everybody with earlier than Jesus saved me. I simply have freedom, a complete story of freedom. I look again on my life and I can’t consider a remorse I’ve apart from little foolish issues as a result of Jesus has been a part of it from way back to I’ve reminiscence.
And so when Jesus is a part of your story, whether or not it’s put up a large number or pre a large number, it’s freedom that you just discover. And so to have a life and a narrative that’s basically simply right here’s what freedom seems like when God is gracious from a really younger age, is that not the testimony that I dream and need for each one in all my youngsters, which now, by God’s grace, I can say that is gonna be their story. As a result of they’re all youngsters and younger adults now they usually don’t have any story of reminiscence beforehand apart from my 4 adopted, which we’ll get into. However yeah, it’s…
So then we moved to the U.S. my dad grew to become the army ambassador to the U.S. once I was 17 and we moved to the DC space, completed highschool right here, went to Bible school right here, bought into pupil ministries. Thought I’d be a pupil ministries pastor my complete life. Had no real interest in working with adults. Children are superior. Grownup are loopy. After which whereas in Monterey, California at a Saddleback mannequin church there in pupil ministries, God stirred my coronary heart, my spouse’s coronary heart into church planting. 28 years previous, two youngsters, one three years previous, one 5 weeks previous once we moved to Orlando to plant Mosaic Church. After which simply began the journey. And that’s been a 17-year journey with Mosaic now. First few months, simply lived right here after which planted in Easter of 2003. And have been using that extraordinary journey or somewhat tumbling down that extraordinary rabbit gap, if you’ll, for the final 17 years watching God do his factor. So in a nutshell, it’s form of the story.
Tony: Yeah. Yeah. So how did you persuade your spouse to marry you?
Renaut: Man, I joke typically that she had in all probability had an excessive amount of to drink, however she doesn’t discover that humorous in any respect as a result of she doesn’t have my story and has a narrative earlier than she grew to become a Christian. And that was a part of it. And so she doesn’t like that. So you could not must have her ever hearken to this podcast, however, you already know, we met my spouse had been a believer for in all probability two and a half, three years once we met. She grew to become a believer at UVA as a virtually sophomore. And so her whole area hadn’t been a lot within the church as a lot as on a school campus being discipled terribly. And so due to her life earlier than, loads of guys performed into her story in very unhealthy methods clearly.
And so once we met and we began out journey the primary 9 months of our journey, it was simply the primary time she had ever been in an area the place the connection was not after one thing from her. It was simply after Jesus. And he or she was from me, this recent, clear imaginative and prescient of Jesus in a reasonably new believer, form of, however very well-discipled by that stage. And so by the point we had gotten engaged, we have been within the DC space. We had an enormous previous romantic day of resulting in the engagement, bought engaged and she or he stated sure, which was superior. And we’ve been married 23 years now.
Tony: So that you proposed in DC?
Renaut: I did.
Tony: I did, too.
Renaut: No kidding. The place did you intend?
Tony: Properly, it was in Arlington.
Renaut: In Arlington?
Tony: It’s a protracted story, however Arlington cemetery. Arlington cemetery.
Renaut: Yeah. I proposed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at like two minutes to midnight, and I wanted her to say sure earlier than midnight as a result of it was on the first of July and I knew I wouldn’t keep in mind the date except it was. So at like precisely midnight, I stated, look, is it a sure or a no? As a result of we have to know earlier than the date switches that she stated sure. So.
Tony: Yeah, she’s a Virginia lady. She labored on the Hill. Her dad labored within the Pentagon who labored on the Hill for a few years, so.
Renaut: That’s superior. My spouse’s dad labored on the Pentagon for a few years too, so. Yeah. That’s so superior.
Tony: From DC to Saddleback to Orlando, again to Saddleback, what’s it that triggered these pursuits in church planting at that individual occasion?
Renaut: So the church I used to be at in Monterrey, Saddleback Mannequin Service Line Church, we had began a younger grownup ministry there for some school youngsters. It become a Bible examine that went from like 20 to 70, and you then get into that bizarre area the place like, it’s not a Bible examine. What the heck is it? We began slightly little bit of a gathering factor after which it become a kind of younger grownup gatherings. On the time in Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Bible church was doing Graceland on the time and the put up when postmodernism was a factor.
You do not forget that? And so we form of on the Monterey peninsula had this younger grownup group and it grew to a few 100 individuals. And I had approached the church to form of say, Hey, sooner or later, not instantly, however down the street since that is form of turning into considerably of a factor, might we church plant this factor out? And in that mannequin of church, nothing improper with that per se, however philosophically you probably have an ideal factor going, you form of maintain it in home. And they also have been like, you already know, that’s not our factor. And that was the start of God form of stirring in my thoughts not less than. Huh. I’m wondering like if church planting is just not a factor right here, ought to or not it’s a factor in any respect? And that was the start level of God form of stirring thought of church planting. After which over the following yr it simply, that was what he had sparked. After which it was similar to a, this pull into like we have to go plant a church.
Tony: So what led you to Orlando?
Renaut: Yeah. So we wished to, you already know, in the course of all of the postmodern world wished to plant a church for postmoderners at the moment, so younger adults and checked out all of the younger grownup meccas that the nation holds, assuming that that’s what God would name us, trigger we’re planting for younger adults. So analysis triangle within the Carolinas, Seattle, Austin, Texas, different locations like that. However we did discover that in loads of these locations as we researched, there have been different ministries planting nice younger grownup church buildings. And so if we have been the higher model, they don’t come to us versus them. However in case you are a younger grownup and also you wished to go to an ideal church, that might culturally be related, you had an choice in all these locations.
I had a pal who had a pal in Orlando that I had met as soon as earlier than and he stated to me, ”It is best to attain out. I feel he is likely to be enthusiastic about planting a church.” And that was what sparked the flight out to Orlando to form of see is Orlando a factor. We moved, we drove out to West Orlando. My spouse was pregnant with our second youngster on the time and went to this little city referred to as Claremont, which is the place we have been gonna plant. And I actually drove into city saying, effectively, good determination made. We’re not planting right here as a result of it was like there wasn’t a younger grownup in sight. It was type of small city outdoors of Orlando.
And we went into the Chamber of Commerce and there was this pink flyer. I keep in mind on paper, I keep in mind even pondering what sort of a Chamber of Commerce print their projections on a pink piece of paper. I imply, that is so dumb. And however the projections have been that loads of Disney workers, particularly younger households, have been gonna transfer out West of Orlando as a result of the site visitors from the place they have been dwelling on the time was getting heavier. And the following few years would see a big progress of youthful households within the West Orlando space. And God simply spoke and stated, this is the reason I introduced you right here as a result of they’re coming and there’s nothing for them right here.
And so I used to be truthfully not satisfied trigger I’m like, yeah, however there’s nothing for us right here both. Like how lengthy are we speaking right here? I’m planting for younger adults in a retirement neighborhood. I imply, none of this makes any sense. However God stirred our hearts. And so we trusted him and got here and planted when there was actually no younger adults on this aspect of city. After which that projection turned out to be precisely what it was.
And an enormous a part of what God used to stir our hearts in why Orlando and West Orlando is when God shared with us that Disney was the place all these younger adults can be coming from. Disney is a world-shaping group. And particularly, Disney produces many of the leisure that our kids watch. And so if that leisure trajectory will get much less and fewer a biblical in precept, much less and fewer the gospel centered, not that it’s ever gospel-centered however much less and fewer, so then that impacts our kids’s minds. But when Disney have been to be influenced by the gospel, a excessive degree and the choices they made within the leisure they selected would develop into increasingly gospel-oriented, we might actually change the world by altering Disney.
And that was one of many huge stirrings that bought created in me to say, come to Orlando, we’re gonna change the world. As a result of change on this planet is my type of I’d say obsession. It’s extra like a curiosity. Like, “Oh my gosh, I get to do that. Like, really? I get to do that?” And so why not attempt? And in order that’s how that performed out.
Tony: Day-after-day, I requested my youngsters that, “Did you change the world today?” Prefer it’s a working query.
Renaut: It’s superior.
Tony: At our house. Did you’ve any curiosity in Disney earlier than then? Had been you a Disney man?
Renaut: No. No. No. And my curiosity in Disney to at the present time, although I’d say I’ve discovered so much from Disney and their intentionality in storytelling, which is actually the gospel is the grandest story of all. And we’re very unintentional in the way in which that we inform the biblical story, which bothers me so much. It turns right into a textbook of theology somewhat than a ravishing novel that God is unfolding with a lot theological implication, proper? However although I’ve discovered so much from Disney, my real love for Disney remains to be that Disney is world-changing and we get to alter her. So Disney itself, I’m like, yeah, you already know, it’s bought princesses. That’s good.
Tony: And so take us via perhaps excessive degree view of the seasons of 17 years of church planting. Are you able to simply kinda drop us into the assorted durations?
Renaut: Yeah. You understand, the primary few years the place all the things that you just imagined church planting is likely to be, it was very lonely. Not an entire lot once you parachute in, you already know, again then I didn’t know that there have been organizations like Acts 29, effectively I suppose again then there wasn’t. However even church planting organizations, books to learn, so on, I wasn’t the man that was like let me get all prepped up and go, which by the way in which I extremely don’t suggest.
So I simply form of parachuted in with my spouse and I feel the primary in all probability yr and a half to 2 years, we had a three-year-old and a five-week-old. No buddies, no church as a result of that’s the opposite bizarre factor with church planting man. It’s tremendous bizarre. And you already know this. You roll into city normally, particularly in case you’re popping out of ministry, you at all times transfer some strategy to develop into a ministry chief of some kindness. So your church routinely is handed to you. Right here’s your church. And so they all know you since you get launched on a stage.
Now, you present up in a city the place you’re planting a church. Nobody is aware of you and you’ll’t actually go to the opposite church buildings. I imply, I really feel like you need to be capable of, however once you go, then they are saying, ”Oh, what are you doing in Orlando?” And the second you say, ”Oh, I’m right here to plant a church,” they really feel like, oh. So you then form of get used to saying issues like, effectively, we’re praying about it, you already know, like give you stuff to say that. So that you don’t threaten each church on the town. And it’s bizarre. You possibly can’t hook up with church buildings, however you gotta wait. So tremendous lonely. Then we planted the church and, you already know, no person actually got here. In order that was tremendous lonely.
Our first gathering we had in all probability, I don’t know, 10 or 12 individuals there, perhaps. The extraordinary a part of the tales that these 10 or 12 individuals apart from two of them, they’re all nonetheless with us and all both deacons are on employees with us. So it’s form of loopy and actually cool. However the level may be very small after which not often stayed small for a very long time. I imply the primary three years…so these first three years, we targeted on a singular thought as a result of we requested ourselves what would it not take for individuals to know we observe Jesus. And we gravitated towards one of many apparent, which is in case you don’t love one another, he doesn’t know that you just observe me. So we form of stated, effectively, let’s study to like one another for actual, like legitimately in on a regular basis life and we’re sufficiently small that there’s not an entire lot of dysfunction that’s round.
So let’s try this. Then there was loads of dysfunction as a result of people deliver tons with them, however we discovered to like one another via that. So we stated for 3 years, if we don’t love one another, effectively they gained’t know we observe Jesus. Then three years in there was a juncture, we have been in all probability 60 individuals or so and we’d gone up and down. We’d gone as much as like 70 right down to 20, again as much as 70. So there’s loads of these first three years, it fluctuates. So that you consistently really feel like, am I succeeding or failing? Which in of itself is the improper query, however that’s the way you’d really feel.
After which God offered an area for us that was everlasting. It’s a narrative I gained’t inform now, but it surely was a rare story of God’s provision with giving us that area. And a part of the story that from a church planting perspective, when individuals have a look at Mosaic story now and we have now hundreds which can be a part of the story and the church is influential and actually cool issues occurring and everyone assumes this ought to be the story all of us shoot for, which I couldn’t disagree extra wholeheartedly as a result of I don’t assume church dimension is the measure of success.
However I do remind individuals, particularly once I’m speaking to church planters, like our story is exclusive, similar to each story is. In a now distinctive story, there’s some issues God offered us alongside the way in which, like a constructing virtually free of charge, that in case you don’t have a few of these elements in your story, don’t measure your ”success” in comparison with one other since you don’t know what God uniquely did of their story that had nothing to do with their extraordinary management or their fantastic acumen, however simply God’s story that he determined that is the story for this church. And steward, what’s in entrance of you, no matter’s in entrance of you, steward that.
So I feel in our story, that was one in all my huge learnings as a result of once we bought that constructing, issues grew some then, then we attempt to cease progress as a result of it was rising quick sufficient that we’re like, that is altering the DNA. We will’t love one another effectively. So we stunted progress for a few years. I imply, legitimately labored diligently to stunt progress.
Tony: What did you do to stunt progress?
Renaut: I imply, I’ll provide you with a fast instance. We moved into the constructing in June and we have been in all probability 60 individuals on the time. Between June and October, we grew to about 130, 140 individuals. So we greater than doubled in dimension. And that’s an enormous factor for a church as a result of it disrupts all the things. I imply, all the things you’ve constructed for 3 and a half years in DNA is disrupted as a result of you’ve extra new individuals than you’ve individuals, proper?
And so I bought in entrance of the church, Thanksgiving, I keep in mind this and I stated to the church, ”Pay attention, we’ve grown so much. We’ve bought so much to study collectively as a result of there’s so much new of us. We’re coming into Christmas and Easter. So I’m gonna ask you guys very, very deeply that except God tells you in any other case, don’t inform anybody that we’re right here. Simply come get pleasure from Christmas, get pleasure from Easter. Please inform nobody. As a result of if we develop any greater than this, I don’t assume we are able to keep what we’ve spent years constructing.” And I don’t know that everyone honored that. However some did.
We additionally, I do not forget that similar time I referred to as the newspaper in our little metropolis, you already know, they’ve that free area and these individuals with church buildings, they, these are the church buildings on the town. It’s not commercial, simply free. And I referred to as them, I keep in mind I referred to as them, that is dysfunctional, don’t get me improper, I’m not recommending this. However I referred to as them, I stated, ”Hey, might you do me a favor? Might you pull out church out of that listing?” And I keep in mind the girl saying to me, ”No, no, no, no, it’s free.” And I went, ”No, no, I do know it’s free. I get that half. However like, we simply can’t afford proper now for individuals to know that we’re right here. So in case you wouldn’t thoughts simply pulling that, that’d be nice.” And if we have been to argue about it, and she or he’s like, positive. And I’m like, I’ll let you already know if I have to again in. And so we pulled it. I don’t assume I ever informed her to place it again in really. So I don’t assume it’s in there but.
However that’s an instance the place we actually deliberately form of stated, let’s get this proper right here with these individuals as a result of if we are able to’t be a people who reside out the realities of Scripture, then no matter we develop into, nevertheless huge or giant, we’re not the people who present the world what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. So then what’s the purpose of getting a church that’s not doing church stuff? So once more, I don’t know that that was godly or purposeful, however it’s what we did and it did maintain again progress. We in all probability grew over that Christmas and Easter by one other perhaps 80 or 100 individuals. However not less than we didn’t develop by 300 or 400.
And I do know, you already know, I need to watch out in these areas as a result of each church planter proper now it’s going, yeah, that’s nice. I imply you’re like, Oh we didn’t develop up however legitimately like we have been very afraid of what quick progress can do. And I’ve seen it do tremendously damaging issues. So it’s not at all times the romantic factor it appears to be. And right now I’d say I’m so grateful for these sorts of selections through the years as a result of it allowed us to maintain our minds in the suitable place that well being of the church can’t simply be a aspect accomplice to progress. It must be the central actuality. We work at well being, we facilitate no matter progress we have now, whether or not it’s up or down, however we work at well being and that’s what we’ve tried to do. We nonetheless attempt to do it right now.
Tony: That’s good man. That’s so good. Now you talked about one thing there that caught my consideration. You stated church planters mustn’t get all prepped up earlier than they plant. Are you able to tease that out a bit?
Renaut: Properly, I’d say they need to get all prepped up really.
Tony: Okay. That’s what you probably did say. You stated ought to.
Renaut: I didn’t very a lot suggest you need to, proper?
Tony: Gotcha, gotcha.
Renaut: I now get the privilege of being part of the A29 evaluation processes for church planters. And I watch these guys and their wives undergo church evaluation. And I feel to myself, what I’d’ve given to have one thing like this, like what I’d have given. The quantity of loopy stuff that we had to determine the arduous approach that I’d not have had to determine the arduous approach if I simply had a pair individuals keen to pour into me a evaluation course of after which assets, books and issues to learn earlier than I plant.
I imply, I inform guys once I’m executed with an evaluation course of now, and I sit with a pair and we have now to inform them some arduous issues about what they must do for 9 months earlier than they’ll plant and skim these six books. And so they’re like, what? And I inform them, pay attention, right here’s the deal man. Like I knew none of this and I planted with none of this and God was gracious, little question. However the quantity of issues I might have saved my spouse and children and household and the church of errors we made, or not less than simply clear expectations. While you really feel this lonely, don’t fear. It’s regular. Have a cohort, you’re a part of, go discover somebody. It could have been invaluable.
So I’d really say in case you’re gonna church plant, man, no matter course of, the motion or group you’re a part of, desires to place you thru, thank them. Don’t really feel prefer it’s a burden. It’s not a burden. I’ll let you know what a burden is. Right here’s a burden. Plant a church with out being well-equipped and wait two years and I’ll present you burden that that’s burden.
Tony: Yeah, man. Yeah. Now you and your spouse Brooke have eight youngsters. Is that proper?
Renaut: We do. We do certainly know. Sure.
Tony: Now, what sort of automotive do you drive and whose thought was that?
Renaut: Yeah, we drive a sprinter van. And when my spouse is a really orderly individual in persona. She very a lot likes construction and she or he likes issues the place they should be. So she had two youngsters in thoughts, very a lot so. That may be good. You understand, we’d have two youngsters, so we’d do our factor. I had slightly greater than that, simply, I used to be extra like, I don’t care. No matter, you already know, like, give me 10, give me 2, no matter. So once we birthed our third, that was type of a wow. After which once we birthed our fourth, that was positively like a, what the heck?
And each of these, you already know, we frequently say somebody in all probability ought to have informed us the way it works as a result of these weren’t essentially two of the deliberate variations. However they’re superior now. Properly, not less than one in all them is. No, I’m simply kidding. They’re each are. However Brooke, I keep in mind Brooke very distinctly saying I by no means need to drive a minivan. I don’t wanna be a kind of minivan mothers. You understand, I wanna drive like, so, so you’ll be able to’t actually have greater than three youngsters in case you wanna not drive a minivan. So once we made the transition to minivan once we had our fourth organic youngster, I feel that was an enormous second for Brooke was she’s like, ah, bummer. Like, oh, effectively, right here we go into the world.
However once we adopted our different 4 youngsters, it was a sibling group that we adopted virtually eight years in the past now. And he or she knew that she needed to transition from a minivan to a sprinter. That’s a factor that the, you already know, Amazon prime drivers drive now. It’s a beast of a factor. FedEx, you assume FedEx, Amazon prime. I don’t assume she might’ve dreamt in her wildest nightmares that she can be driving a sprinter van round. However she does. She drives it. And all my youngsters that I’ve driver’s licenses now, all of them discovered to drive on the sprinter van. As a result of I stated to them, in a household like ours, you get a driver’s license to develop into one of many commuters. So in case you can’t drive the massive van, you’re ineffective to me. So I train you on the massive vein. After which there’s no different automobile on the planet you can’t drive once you study to drive on this.
Tony: That’s good. We’re having that very same dialog with my 18-year-old and 17-year-old proper now.
Renaut: There you go. There you go.
Tony: Study on the weekends. It was whose thought was it, you already know, in all honesty, it was God’s journey with each of us clearly. It was not, there was by no means a degree the place we had made the choice to undertake 4 kids. We had 4 already. We had been so compelled by the scriptural mandate to have interaction within the care of orphans, that we knew that it was non-negotiable to not less than be engaged. And adoption because the lead pastor simply appeared to me additionally considerably non-negotiable. I wouldn’t say completely nonnegotiable, however I’d argue fairly shut. And so we have been at all times open to that. We found out daughter our now daughter and Ethiopia have been informed that she was deserted and alone. Discovered via the method that she had siblings, which we didn’t know three siblings. And we had a plan to have 4 households us and three different households undertake all 4 of the youngsters, one every as a result of no person adopts for that might be idiocy.
And that God via a set of circumstances unraveled. Then we had a household that was gonna dump the 2 boys whereas we adopted the 2 ladies as a result of the 2 boys are older than my organic ladies. In order that’s an enormous no-no within the adoption world for good cause. And the oldest boy is older than my oldest organic, so that might break the birthing order as effectively, which is a huge no-no within the adoption for good cause.
And so I inform individuals on a regular basis, don’t break these guidelines except God completely tells you in any other case. And he did for us. It’s a protracted story not value telling now, but it surely was a second for me fairly truthfully in a front room the place I needed to ask, God requested me, I keep in mind very clearly, I’ll simply say this a part of it. My two daughters, organic daughters, God requested me this query as I used to be wrestling with adopting the boys as a result of it had develop into clear that we would must do all 4 or none. And God didn’t say to me, do you imagine that I might shield your daughters if from these boys if they’ve points?
What God’s query from me was, if issues go badly, do you imagine I can redeem it? And it’s a really arduous query for me to wrestle with as a result of it’s the theological area we reside in as individuals who perceive God’s sovereignty. It’s what I preach, however now it’s sitting in entrance of me and my daughter was the query. If he abuses her, can I redeem that? Are you able to get on a stage and say God can redeem something? And once more, watch out what you hear once I say this since you ought to by no means put your kids into hurt’s approach as a result of you’re a lead pastor otherwise you assume you’re a cool Christian.
However when God himself whispers to you, do you belief me sufficient to redeem a narrative that might get ugly? In case you observe me into this. And I keep in mind having to return to the place the place I say, “God, how could I answer no.” Like how do I reply? Nobody ever get again on a stage or ever stroll out of this home and inform individuals, “I know and love Jesus and trust him with all of my life.” So I stated, “I do believe that you could if you had to.” After which God stated, then bought invited me to undertake the boys. However it was an invite. The 2 ladies was very very like, these are your daughters, the 2 boys. It was like they could possibly be your sons. And Brooke and I prayed and felt that God was calling us to undertake them. So we stated sure to that.
I can let you know, my boys have turned out to be the best protectors of my whole the all their siblings. God was gracious to not have the issues that might have occurred occurred. I say that fastidiously additionally as a result of we should always not reside beneath the naivety that claims if we step into mission on God’s, he’ll at all times make it okay on the again finish. That’s not true. All of the disciples didn’t have okay ends to their tales and plenty of others after them. However God does promise that all the things shall be redeemed.
And so it was an enormous journey for us. We ended up with eight youngsters, 4 got here to us concurrently. For our house, it was like taking two tractor trailers and driving them at one another at 100 miles an hour and hoping that after they collide, it might flip into one huge tractor trailer. That was the naivety wherein we lived. When two tractor trailers collide, of us at 100 miles an hour, they don’t flip into one tractor trailer. I can let you know that. And we’ve spent the final I’d say seven and a half years accumulating elements. The primary two years simply placing out fires and dragging useless our bodies from the carnage of that collision when two households collide like that and the trauma and madness that comes with that.
My spouse virtually died within the course of from a soul loss of life standpoint. And God needed to redeem so much. After which we are actually at a spot the place I feel we’ve constructed the chassis. We’ve bought perhaps some doorways duct taped on, the engine is unbroken. It begins once I flip the important thing, this factor referred to as a household. I began as I cope, it begins, I’ve first and kit, I would like six extra gears, however that’s one other decade of constructing. The truck can transfer ahead. It’s good. And so we’re constructing and dealing. Now we have an precise household now after seven years of labor, but it surely has been a brutal and exquisite journey.
Tony: Amen, bro. Now, you’ve created in your management an instance, fairly an adopting tradition as your church, proper?
Renaut: Yep. You understand, I’ve at all times beloved the scene in ”Braveheart” the place he’s using his horse in entrance of these guys with pitchforks about to hurry into an enemy that has each cause to kill them, proper? I imply, no matter you do, don’t do that. That is silly. After which I really like the truth that he simply at one level stops speaking and simply goes. And there’s that scene the place the 2 guys have a look at one another like, what will we do now? And the one conclusion is, simply cost. Proper? And I like to guide that approach. I feel it’s the way in which we ought to guide somewhat than a normal in a room someplace giving orders to the individuals to go reside on mission.
And so we kinda charged in, individuals…I preach very vulnerably from the stage. I at all times have simply right here’s my life, right here’s the gospel, right here’s how they collide. So via the journey of adoption, each pre and put up our youngsters coming house, I preached loads of arduous, loads of arduous as a result of it was very arduous. I keep in mind a title of a message one time was the darkness rises. And I keep in mind preaching a message of the hellish actuality that it will possibly really feel like once you tackle mission and also you deliver it into the one secure place you’ve, which is your private home and the way arduous it’s on everybody. Not only a organic household, however the adopted youngsters as effectively as a result of we’re one household now.
So we didn’t maintain again. We have been very sincere and really actual. And in that honesty and actuality of not saying, that is such a pleasure, go do it. We’re like, that is gonna kill you. Very seemingly you’ll in all probability die. However did Jesus not say that if we observe him, that we should always take up the crosses of this world? As a result of we frequently use that terminology by way of Jesus, like take up your cross, which means no matter circumstances you face right now, carry them effectively. However I’m like, that’s not what Jesus was saying. He didn’t go like have the cross fall on his again accidentally and go, “Oh crap, what just happened? Oh, well, I guess, I’ll redeem the human race.” He knew precisely the place he was going and he knew throughout was included. And so what he stated to us is, you’re gonna watch me redeem you. Once I’m executed redeeming you, in case you observe me, you’re gonna go take up all of the unredeemed areas of this useless planet and also you’re gonna take them on. And right here’s the way it’s going to really feel. The darkness bites again, brother.
So once you take them on, you’ll really feel like you might be dying on a cross at first. The very individuals you’re making an attempt to avoid wasting will attempt to kill you. However the one factor you’ve bought is that I got here again to life after I died and I’ll deliver you again to life after you’re executed on mission, whether or not you lose, actually lose your life or not. And so we preach that so much. And so individuals began daring to say, “Well, it’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna be crazy, but someone’s gotta do it and this.” And so our church grew to become a church that form of stated, if we’re gonna undertake, who doesn’t get adopted? Properly, particular wants and older youngsters. So we have now had near 300 adoptions into Eternally Properties.
And I can’t consider an toddler really in that story. There in all probability is one or two, however most of them are all 5 and over or I’m particular wants. Now we have a whole bunch of particular wants kids that decision this place house with their households. So we’ve develop into very, excellent at that. And fostering, we foster a whole bunch of kids in our midst. And in order that’s loads of particular wants and loads of trauma and loads of loopy. I’ll let you know that we stormed in like Braveheart and his group and we bought pummeled. I imply, marriages have been on the brink, individuals have been dying left and proper. We do not know find out how to do wraparound care correctly. We weren’t a neighborhood that was prepared for this.
And so I’d simply let you know as a church, in case you wanna go do one thing loopy like this, once more, form of like church planting, it appears to be my MO. Don’t cost in like an fool. Get some assist to get wraparound care in place and different issues. We’ve bought that now as a result of we needed to study the arduous approach. I’d say now we have now very effectively -equipped and we’re an ideal place for adoptive and foster care households. However we weren’t at all times and it was carnage, however God was gracious and we survived and now we’re thriving ahead.
Tony: That’s superior man. So yet one more, we might speak perpetually about this. A number of youngsters ministry, any recommendation, any recommendation you’ve bought for guys on the market who’re making an attempt to, I don’t even just like the phrase stability, however stability the position of parenting and pasturing.
Renaut: I do, I do. In case you hear nothing else on this podcast, in case you’ve ignored all the things else, be at liberty. Don’t ignore this. If I might pull my coronary heart out of my chest and put it on the desk for you and present you what I really feel about this, the phrases can be an enough. There isn’t a stability. There isn’t a stability. Abandon that notion. Okay. Right here’s the deal. You’re gonna reside in case you reside a standard human life for about 70 years, perhaps 80, that provides you 55 productive years, perhaps 60. Okay. While you’re 50 or 60, you’ll be able to plan to church. In case your church fails, you’ll be able to plant one other one and do it once more. You can begin a brand new enterprise. I’ve thought of this so much. I can begin something I’m doing right now. If all of it fails, I can do it once more once I flip 50, I’m 46 now. Okay.
Once I flip 52, my youngest youngster is 18 and if I say to God, “God, I’m so sorry. I was really busy over these last 20 years pastoring a church because you called me to it because it was a sacred work. And the church had lots of demands and so they pulled me a lot so I didn’t quite get it right with the kids. I’m so sorry. They don’t know me super well because the mistress that was the church pulled me from them. And they’re struggling because they don’t like the church very much because she was the mistress that pulled me from them. Can I have a do over on them for the next 20 years?” Bro, there’s no do over. There’s redemption, however there’s no do over.
Now, then again, if I give my life to my youngsters for these 20 years whereas I’ve bought them and the church suffers due to that, actually does. Individuals like, man, you don’t, you don’t work actually arduous. Or males, you say no to lots of people. Man, you disappoint lots of people. Let’s use that phrase since you upset lots of people. Individuals assume you give approach an excessive amount of time to your loved ones and your youngsters flip 20 and also you go, “God, the church failed. Can I do that over again?” He goes, “Yeah, as a matter of fact, not only that, but you’ve got 20 years of experience now so you can do it better.” However your youngsters didn’t fail.
I bought a letter from my daughter who’s 20 she’s at Liberty College junior final yr for father’s day, and I’m executed then. And he or she wrote me this little notice and the notice principally stated, ”Dad, I at all times knew that you just’re an ideal dad since you elevate the gospel at house, which in of itself was simply wonderful factor to listen to.” However she stated, ”Since being at college in a Christian college with different Christians, I had no concept that being current at our house each day and selecting us over church was not a factor that everyone else skilled. And we did. And right now it units me aside from all my friends as a result of I’ve a dad that I knew put us first each time and stated no to loads of church.”
And people hear me on this. I upset this church so much. I wasn’t out there so much. And I nonetheless do. And throughout the years of adoption, I in all probability labored 15 hours every week for 2 years as a result of my spouse wanted me house in an enormous approach. Throughout a time that this church was on the verge of adjusting and it wanted me and I didn’t give myself to her. And I don’t remorse that for one single second. So don’t stability this out, boys. Please don’t stability this up.
Tony: It’s good.
Renaut: Be house. Be along with your youngsters, increase them effectively, get that proper and do all the things else after that that you really want.
Tony: Thanks a lot, brother, to your life, your instance, your transparency, and taking a while to seize this story. It’s inspired my soul deeply.
Renaut: It’s a pleasure to do it, my pal. I’m trying ahead to hanging with you quickly once more.
Tony: Sure. Sure, certainly. Thanks, man.