It was 2008.
2008 is a year I remember with fondness and vague embarrassment.
To explain 2008, I need to be a bit honest with you dear reader. I had big dreams, high hopes and very little self awareness.
I wanted to plant churches (notice the plural. Big dreams etc etc). However, I was stuck. I knew God had spoken about moving to Manchester but I had no idea how to get there. Looking back it seems simple. Surely I should just move house, get a job and just start. Right? No.
Confidence is a funny old thing. Realistically, I had no confidence in myself or really in God. That’s what being stuck meant for me. When you lack confidence you tend to blame other people or situations around you. I blamed the church I was in (unfairly as they didn’t know what to do with a stroppy guy in his mid/late 20s!). I also blamed my job and the stage of life I was at. We had a one year old girl and life was becoming less flexible and free flowing.
The real kicker was that I was unproven. Unproven to myself, never mind the rest of the planet. I hadn’t worked for a church. I had a bit of leadership experience in that I had led a student ministry in a church in my spare time. However, on paper I wasn’t a great prospect for church planting! In short, I had a lot of opinion and very little experience.
So that’s how this story begins. I was at the edge of my faith, without much self awareness and with a huge pile of ego.
The one thing I did have in my favour was a desperation to have a go. All I needed was the chance. So we prayed that a chance would come our way.