GRAND BLANC, MI – In 2002, I watched my parents plant a church in Hartland, MI. It was a fun experience, but I didn’t play a huge role. I had a couple years of high school left then I would be off to college. As I matured and my relationship with Christ grew, I started to feel a pull to working in the ministry. However, as I observed from afar my parents experience of planting a church, it didn’t look like anything that I wanted to be involved in. In fact, I remember telling several people in college that “I would never work for a church.”
I graduated from college in April of 2009 and accepted a position working at a camp in Vermilion, OH called Beulah Beach. I never felt a clear call in college towards a particular occupation, but I knew I loved summer camp through my experiences as a counselor at SpringHill, so working full-time at a camp seemed like a logical destination.
Working at Beulah Beach was extremely valuable- for the first time in my life I was truly on my own. My relationship with Jesus grew tremendously during those two years. I was given a substantial amount of responsibility; interviewing and hiring 60+ summer staff each summer, summer camp programming, managing facilities, preaching, and overseeing a large staff were just some of my roles. This was also the place where I started my marriage- I will forever be grateful for the foundation it laid for our marriage as we both served in full-time ministry (my wife, Andrea, served as the Day Camp Director).
Fast forward to 2011, and God had led my wife and I back to Michigan. For the next four years I worked in medical sales, a job I excelled at, but as time continued to pass, I couldn’t help but think, “is this seriously what God has designed me to do?” In the summer of 2015, Andrea and I took a trip to see friends that serve as full time missionaries in Guatemala. The entire time I was there I felt so jealous, jealous of what my friends were doing with their lives and the perpetual feeling that I was wasting my life. I started begging God to move in our lives, to whatever the next chapter was because I refused to believe I would work in medical sales for the rest of my life.
It was shortly after returning from that trip that I called Travis Whittaker because we hadn’t spoken in about a year. As soon as he answered, he remarked, “You’re calling me to come help me start this church.” Travis was right. Over the next couple months, God made it abundantly clear that we were supposed to help start Mile City, a new church in Livonia, MI, but also showed us that it was not our “final stop.” Throughout 2016, God continued to put people in my life and grab my attention in ways that made it very clear that church planting was a part of our future.
Grumlaw Church is God’s dream, not mine. It’s ironic that I once said “I would never work for a church.” God has clearly changed my heart and pushed me forward on a mission that I can’t ignore. Each day, I am excited and terrified, but more than anything, I’m humbled that God has chosen me for this purpose. Planting a church has been the most challenging endeavor of my life, and it constantly puts me in a place that if God doesn’t come through, you’re in trouble. But my goodness, is it rewarding and incredible that God chooses to use ordinary, sinful idiots in His plan for redemption.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shea Prisk is Lead Pastor of Grumlaw Church in Grand Blanc, MI. His wife is Andrea, and they have two children. Grumlaw Church meets at Genesys Conference & Banquet Center, 805 Health Park Blvd, Grand Blanc, MI 48439 on Sunday mornings at 10:30am.