I hope this blog finds all my friends out there doing awesome and enjoying life in Jesus! I’m writing today in order to catch you all up on what is happening in the Craft household. I posted a picture of myself smiling from ear to ear on INSTAGRAM recently, with the following comment:
“Yes, this is a ‘selfie’. I just wanted to officially record a very happy moment in my life. Today the culmination of many prayers has finally come to pass. Thank you, Jesus… for not forgetting a pretty average guy, and for holding true to Your Word, which declares that if we would only delight ourselves in You, that You would actually give us the desires of our heart. Today I am simply blown away by Your goodness and grace. Thank You.”
I had a number of comments, emails, text messages, and even a few phone calls concerning what that “moment” was. Here’s what has transpired in my life to cause me so much joy and appreciation to my Best Friend, and Savior…
Since resigning the Lead Pastorate of Desperation Church in Liberty, Missouri and moving out to Colorado Springs, Colorado, I have been sincerely praying as to the direction God would have for my life. My first concern has been the health of my wife, followed closely by other extremely important things, such as; providing for my family, and obediently stepping through whatever doors the Lord had for me. This has led to me working three ‘secular’ jobs… all of which didn’t exactly ‘pan out’. However, each of them were a needed part in the transformative process the Lord has had me journeying through. During these jobs I have not been sitting quietly on the bench. Kelli and I started a small group in our home on Saturday nights, while attending a Calvary Chapel church close to our home on Sundays. This small group quickly grew to more than we could handle in our small home, and after a couple of months we began meeting in the basement of a building in the heart of Old Colorado City. This has been a wonderful experience and people, whom we have fallen in love with, have made it a very special time.
I have been very specific about not calling this endeavor, DMaskUs Community, a ‘church’. Although, it was beginning to resemble one. Kelli and I began praying for God’s will in our ministerial lives. Two things have happened: First, Kelli has been feeling awesome, and second, the latest secular job that I had, which I loved, was pulled from me, due to circumstances beyond my control. These two things caused me to begin pursuing full-time ministry once again. Perhaps running from God’s call wasn’t such a good idea? I have been filling out resumes and talking with churches and ministries for the past six weeks. I have, literally, spoken with wonderful people from California to Maine, and South Korea to Uganda. I have sent out over 40 resumes and applied for positions from ‘Youth Pastor’ to ‘Missions Director’.
During this season, I have maintained our small Bible Study, DMASKUS COMMUNITY. Our prayer has been that if God truly desired for DMaskUs to be our future, that He would need to provide a job that not only paid our bills, but would allow us to stay in this area. Kelli and I have also continued attending the Calvary Chapel Church in our neighborhood, going to prayer meetings, and making relationships. A relationship with one of the associate pastors at this church led to me asking him for prayer, which he was happy to do.
A week later I received a call from this pastor, that led to a lunch, which led to a conversation with he, another Administrative Pastor, and the Senior Pastor. This has led to them asking if I’d pray about joining their team. Kelli and I have prayed, and I am beginning a three-month ‘interim’ period, where I will walk alongside this leadership team. I’ll be learning as much as possible and getting to know these folks, as they get to know me. They seem to be genuinely excited and feel that I am an answer to specific prayers that they have been praying. I, of course, feel the same way about them.
But more than simply, getting offered a ‘job’… I am excited about the fact… because this is truly a dream come true. Let me explain…
My freshman year of college I attended a Calvary Chapel Church in Costa Mesa, California. Pastor Chuch Smith had a huge impact on my life. He was accepting of men with long hair and wearing sandals, and he preached ‘verse-by-verse’ through the Bible. I had never seen this before, and I was hooked! I transferred to a Bible College in Oregon, and during my senior year’s ‘Spiritual Growth Week’, we had a special speaker, a Calvary Chapel Pastor by the name of Jon Courson. He had such a major impact on my life that I immediately began ordering his weekly sermons on cassette tape. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really was for a struggling college student! Each week I sat under this man’s verse-by-verse, expository preaching and teaching for over 13 years! He has been the greatest mentor of my life, and he doesn’t even know me! Of course, during this time I was a youth pastor and eventually a Senior Pastor… all the while being mentored by Jon Courson. As the church I was pastoring was growing, I even patterned my teaching style, church doctrines, philosophies of ministry after Jon Courson and his ‘denomination’, Calvary Chapel. When we moved to Colorado Springs, ten months ago, and we were looking for a church, my only desire was to make sure it was a Calvary Chapel Church. When we found a rental home, literally, three houses down the street from a Calvary Chapel Church that we absolutely loved… we chose to rent it immediately! Each weekend, as we attended this mega-massive-wonderful church, Kelli and I would pray, “Lord, please allow us to serve You in a church exactly like this one!” I never even hoped to send them my resume, because I didn’t think they were hiring and I didn’t think God would ever want me to be THAT happy! However, I was wrong. As we have sought to just radically love Jesus and any person that would come across our path… He has absolutely brought us the deepest desire of our hearts! So… all of this is why I consider what has happened recently to be a dream come true. We are truly, exactly where we would CHOOSE to be! The church’s web-site is: Calvary Worship Center
The D-Mask-Us Community will not be meeting on Sundays any longer, however, our relationships with those who are part of that radical gathering will remain and we hope to continue meeting together at other times.
I know I’ve written a book here. If you are still reading, thank you. Please know that your prayers for the Craft family have not been in vain. I will keep this site up, and I hope that you’ll check back here often. I love you all very much. I’ve appreciated those who’ve supported D-Mask-Us with your prayers, gifts, and offerings. We’ve been able to feed a lot of people and get the awesome message of God’s Love to them too! That is because of your giving. So, sincerely… ‘THANK YOU’.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them away.
Love you all, Michael