As part of our mission to help pastors plant churches that last, we've asked Jeremiah Taylor, the lead pastor of Redemption Church Miami, to share his reflections on the video below. This video was filmed two years ago, after he and his wife Lauren moved to Miami to plant a gospel-centered church in the community of Little Haiti. They knew practically no one upon arriving, but since that time, God has brought many people into their path who also want to see a church planted in the inner-city!
They began gathering with these people in their home in May of 2014, where every Sunday they would share a meal, have a discussion centered on God’s word, pray, and sing. Think Acts 2:42-46. Enjoy the video and Jeremiah's reflections below...
"As I watched this video, two years after it was made, one thing struck me more than anything else. As my wife and I talked in the video, there was a sense of urgency and expectation of all that God was going to do in and through our ministry in Little Haiti. I have a few thoughts regarding that urgency and expectation.
First, I had a lot of expectation of what God was going to do through me in church planting; but what was not on my radar was what God was going to do in me. I now believe that one of the main reasons that God had us move to Miami was to conform us into the image of his son.
Church planting has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. It almost feels like you keep getting punched in the stomach and once you regain your breath—you get punched again! In other words—you never catch your breath. But what is beautiful is that God is actually using all of the suffering and disappointments to make you into the kind of people who actually are able to minister to those who are in need. The pain pushes you to draw near to Christ and depend upon him—which is exactly what you’re trying to get others to do in the midst of their pain. If you are going to plant a church, expect it to be hard—gut wrenching hard; but please expect it to be good! It’s going to be good because God is going to do amazing stuff through you, but especially in you!
Secondly, here is a warning to all new church planters: Be careful of boasting in what YOU are going to do. Focus rather on what you believe GOD is going to do and pray, pray, pray. I touched down in Little Haiti thinking I was going to change the world all by myself—in other words, I was extremely arrogant. God had to show me the hard way that the only way people will ever believe the gospel and mature in the faith is if God pours out his grace and favor upon you. As long as it’s about you—your fruit will remain small. But if it’s about God—the sky really is the limit.
Finally, watching this video brought so much joy to me because as I watched it, I was seeing face after face of people that I love dearly who have come to Christ or matured in the faith. Sure, some of the folks that you see in the video are gone and no longer a part of our church; but many of them are still here. Also, there are many folks who were not in the video but who are now a vibrant part of our community as the mission has moved forward! There was even a young 7-year-old boy named Jason and a 5-year-old girl named Maya running around in the video, whom at the time of the video were just neighbors; but last year were adopted by us and now are a part of our family.
Church planting really is a wild ride! There’s lots of pain… but it is full of joy! Church planting is absolutely worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears! I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity and privilege to bring glad tidings of great joy to the people of Little Haiti!"