Personal Commitment in the Antioch Initiative
(77 year old PA church-planter and soldier of the cross left a lucrative supervisor’s job with a Pittsburg, PA steel mill to plant a church in Kittanning, PA over forty years ago with wife, Eileen)
Have you considered how blessed an individual is when he faces an opportunity to have a significant part in God’s great work of human redemption? In I Kings 19:19ff, we have the record of one person’s reaction when God opened a door for him. Elijah found Elisha plowing with a yoke of oxen; cast his cloak upon Elisha, and in doing that - called him to the prophetic office. Elisha met that opportunity by killing his oxen, and burned their yoke in a fire he used to boil their flesh - which he served at a feast to celebrate! It is pretty obvious that Elisha never worldview, failure was not an option.
In 1977, when my wife and I had the opportunity to move to Armstrong County, Pennsylvania to have a part in planting what would be the only congregation of the Lord’s church in that county of 70,000 souls, we sold our home and bought one in Kittanning--the county seat. Looking back, I didn’t do that to eliminate any option in the event that our church planting effort would be unsuccessful, but because we knew that with God’s help it would be.
For those of my brethren who will recognize the opportunity to participate with Don Myers and the Elmore, Alabama elders who are being joined by a growing number of passionate brethren around the U.S. in The Antioch Initiative. What a wonderful way to taste the joy felt by those first century heroes like Paul, Silas, Barnabas, Priscilla, Aquila, and a host of others - let’s begin our work with an ox roast! For example, if anyone considers, What if this doesn’t work? Please kill that ox immediately and replace it with the assurance that we will unite to make it work, or else use our collective wisdom to go forward under the banner, With God’s help, we will succeed. With one mind, let us be people for whom failure is not an option!
Clarence and Eileen McDowell are leaders in The Antioch Initiative. They have recently moved from Uniontown, PA to retire near Memphis, TN. Clarence is passionate about multiple church-planting in NE Pennsylvania and is the brother who led us to Athens/Sayre, PA and Waverly, NY (Valley Cities) as a most advantageous place for a church plant.
Semon on Isaiah 11 by Clarence McDowell