Pastor Dustin

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Hello Journey friends and family,

A couple of weeks ago, TJ (my bride) and I visited Oklahoma City, also known as OKC.  We went to OKC to prepare for a Leadership event that Journey will be hosting on August 5-6 called the Global Leadership Summit.  The Global Leadership Network consists of over 400,000 leaders from 135 countries around the world. This will be a leadership-filled two-day event that Journey will participate in to grow our leadership and capacity.  This event is for the community and geared for you and to invite your friends and coworkers.  I want to ask you to pray about joining us for this opportunity.  For more details and to register, you can click here.

As great as that was, TJ and I visited a church in OKC called Life Church, https://www.life.church/.  Life Church is one of the largest churches in the nation and one of the most influential churches in the world.  They have 36 campuses across 11 states.  They are the creators of YouVersion, which many of you know as the Bible app for your phones and devices.  They created OPEN which is a website where they give all of their internal resources away for free to churches all around the world.  On top of all that, they also created many other software-based tools to help churches around the world thrive.  One of the tools they created we use every week to broadcast our online services.  It’s called the Church Online Platform.  Just through their Church Online Platform, they have hosted over 4,000,000 church services around the world and have seen over 1.1 million people give their lives to Jesus.   Come on now, THAT’S UNBELIEVABLE!

Here are some jaw-dropping stats from their Bible app called YouVersion.

  • 500 million downloads from around the world
  • 2,379 translations of the Bible
  • 1,641 languages in 170 countries
  • Approximately 10 million users use YouVersion every day
  • 4 Billion Bible Reading plans completed
  • 5 billion chapters of the Bible played via their audio version
  • 524 million verses shared through their imaging sharing feature
  • 5 billion highlights, notes, and bookmarks
  • 6 billion chapters of the Bible have been read on YouVersion

WOW!  Those are some incredibly powerful and inspiring stats as Life Church is a huge blessing to the capital “C” Church.

To add to all of that, Life Church’s pastor, Craig Groeschel, has one of the most downloaded leadership podcasts in the world https://www.life.church/leadershippodcast/.

However, I want to share with you something that God impressed upon me as I reflected on my time in OKC.  I’m not sure if all that would have ever happened if their lead pastor, Craig Groeschel, would have chased the spotlight.  OKC was a great city, but it felt small and like we were in the middle of nowhere.  It did not feel like a great place to strategically impact the world the way Life Church has.  I’m not sure Pastor Craig would have had the same success if he tried to make something of himself and moved toward the spotlights of LA or New York City.  Instead, he was obedient to live out his calling right where God called him to, in OKC.  Pastor Craig bloomed right where he was planted.

It would have been easy for Pastor Craig to say, “we can’t reach the world, we don’t have enough resources” or “our location is too small.”  Instead, he humbly took what he had, where he had it, and offered it to the Lord for His blessing.

This reminds me of a story in Mark 6, where Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish.  In life, we rarely ever have everything we want.  However, when we take what we have and offer it to the Lord and ask for His blessing, that’s when the miracles begin to take place, and I believe that’s exactly what happened with Pastor Craig and Life Church.  They took what they had, their limited supply, and not an ideal location, and they offered it up to the Lord, and the Lord used them to reach the world in unprecedented ways.

Maybe today, you feel overwhelmed or discouraged because you find yourself with a dream or calling that seems bigger than your resources.

You may not think you have what it takes.  But with God, you have more than enough.  You may think you are too old, too young, not experienced enough, not educated enough, in the wrong place, or feeling it’s the wrong season, etc.  But God says, just give me what you have and let me bless it.

God can do more with two surrendered hands then we can with one hundred working hands.

May we bloom where we are planted, for God never plants on accident.

As always, I am Loving the Journey,

Dustin Aagaard

Associate Lead Pastor