Funny thing happened on the way to church (part 1)…

1st blog post in months…there I said it, now let’s move on.

You ever had this vision? Like you know you were supposed to do this thing…whatever it was, you had to do it. Anyone?

In steps the Ortiz family.

In 2010, we felt a tug, a pull, a leading to step down as student pastors in San Angelo and move to Austin, TX to plant a church. So in February of 2011 it happened. We loaded up the U-haul and trekked our way to Austin. The next  months were fast and furious. We learned everything on the fly, from becoming a reg. 501c3 non-profit, gathering a launch team, raising funds, promoting the start of the new church, finding a location to have service…did I mention we had NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE DOING?

During those months I held onto Joshua 1:9 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Then it happened…the launch of Revive Church Austin in September of 2011.

I can not explain the feeling after our first service. After all the months of praying, training, raising money, all the walking placing door hangers, water bottles…we did it. With the hard hard work of a lot of people and the tremendous grace of God, Revive Church Austin was birthed.

Little did I know everything that we had gone through up until that point would be the easiest part. Over the next few months we would be tested as church plant. How do you ask? Let me briefly tell you some of what occurred:

1) our third or fourth service (I can’t remember cause I blocked it out of my memory), NO ONE SHOWED UP. It was only the launch team…yeah can not say that “it felt great”

2) I was in the hospital for a few days cause I was bleeding internally and didn’t know it. I need two blood transfusions to help me out…and let me say, I now know why vampires like blood. muuuuaaaaaah!!!

3) We started to run out of finances. We weren’t being dumb and spending money, money wasn’t coming in. The facility we met in was awesome, but way way expensive. We took a risk and during the first few months that risk looked dumb! We had until December, if our giving didn’t go up we were done for. You can imagine how this weighed heavy with the thought “Ok great you loser. You plant a church in September and you fold in December, that has to be a record or something.

4) During this time we looked at our first time guests cards, the numbers were depressing. In the first few months of Revive Church Austin we had 85 visitors. Wanna know how many we retained? 2, yup 1 and 2…that’s it.

How could this be happening, what were we doing wrong, was this a mistake? God, you gotta do something! Don’t you know one couple moved from Lubbock? And what about the two couples that moved from San Angelo? Or the couple that moved from Jarrell and stepped down from a ministry position at a different church to join us.

God what are you doing?

and the words came back to me

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

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