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I first met Jim Essian when he played 3rd base for the Fort Worth Cats minor league baseball team and I worked with the team Chaplain. I next met him years later as he was starting a church in downtown Fort Worth. Many church plants don’t make it seven years, but many are not started by guys who hustle on every play, don’t mind getting their uniform dirty, and play every game to win. In seven years, Jim’s church plant has baptized over 200 people, planted another church down the road, entered the hard fight of racial reconciliation, all this gathering in 9 different Sunday venues, 6 different office spaces, using 5 different trailers to set up and tear down over 350 times. Jim’s key to planting/pastoring a church? “Read your Bible, pray, repent, worship, and plead with the Lord to send you good people filled with the Spirit.” I know that not all church planters begin on the same playing field, and it’s not fair to measure all by one, but when Jim Essian got on base, God hit a Home Run. The Apostle Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Would you join me this week praying for those like Paul and Jim, who answered the call to “plant.”

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