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November 13, 2007


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This sounds like the heart of the apostle Paul when he talked about his "concern for the church" (2 Cor. 11:28).

Thanks for giving us a peek into the heart of a planter/pastor.

1 Corinthians 15:58 to you man!


Josh Roberts

thanks for the transparency man - maybe i'm not crazy. this is the first place i log on to every morning - your blog is real practical insight for where God has me right now.


This is my favorite quote on leadership and I think it really speaks to what you are talking about!

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Tedddy Roosevelt

Andrew Conard

Michael - Thanks for being so open in this post. I appreciate your honesty in addressing the reality of a pastor and the reality of being in a new church start. I have been discerning the possibility of being a pastor at a new church start and this is helpful in continuing to think about that possibility. Thanks.


Just what I was thinking. Except I woke up at 5:05am



My husband was the pastor in a small church in rural Alabama. Even though we had only a handful of people, he worried about the same things as you do. The one big problem for him was that they DID NOT want to grow. Most of the folks were born, married, lived and died within three miles of home.

Trying to present the gospel in a way that the congregation could understand was not easy. Larry grew up in a part of Tampa that was known for drugs, bars, etc., and he'd seen a side of life that these folks would never be able to understand. Try as he may, they didn't not want to grow, just take care of the graveyard.

Oak Leaf is not that kind of church. OLC is very fortunate to have you, as lead pastor, Anthony, Tim and all the others that are able to show us that vision you have for growth. Concern about what you are teaching is very visible and I applaud you for the leadership your have given us and are giving us.

Thank you so much, again, for the leadership you provide for us.


Give it all to him. Certainly not a pastor, but as a mom, the worrying never stops. I give my children to him (now 31 29) and take them back, over and over again. Giving it all to Him sounds simple, but what a challenge to keep doing so. From experience, I can tell you that probably 99% of the things I have worried about never happened. You are in my heart and prayers every day.


Great post...I know the feeling. I hope you can be apart of the group Gary is putting together.


Will Henderson

Hey Michael,
Thanks for sharing your heart mate!
I love your blog/s and have really been growing from it... you are a real encouragement to me and my wife as we work in a "replant" situation. Your life wisdom has been absolute gold, and it's helped us clarify our future direction with God and working in church leadership.
Cheers from Brisbane AUSTRALIA!!


" I wonder if people care enough to show up if it's cold"? After 33 years of seldom going to church, and just about every denomination, I haven't missed a week since coming Easter Day. I dare it to snow, I dare it to blizzard. My then biggest worry would be if you would show up, because I'm walking the seven miles to get there in the snow. I thank you................................

Jacky's mom

Today, as I was pondering in prayer the sudden loss of my son, God led me to read John 15 at least twice in part. Especially verse 16 came back to mind as I was reading this blog. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should REMAIN: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the father in my name, he may give it to you."

"Whatever gifts are necessary to the futherance of your labor, whatever help from heaven you have occasion for at any time, it is but ask and have."

Maybe God knew that I would find and read your blog out of curiosity of my son's intent interest in your church the last months of his life, altho he's been a Christian for years. Maybe He put that verse into my spirit as a lift/reminder to you to just keep doing what you're doing, and let God worry about the rest. After all, He is the one in charge, and He supplies the fruit. Stop worrying or losing sleep. Evidently you're doing something right.

All summer, as I prayed over my daughter, I kept watching my tomato plants, thinking how soooo seemingly long it took to get that plant to sprout, grow, bloom, bare fruit...and then wait on that fruit to ripen before I could pluck it. God reminded me that, so too, our spiritual fruit won't be plucked before it's ready. My daughter, like the tomato plants, picked up and is coming along fine now, (spiritually speaking), altho is still in the growing stages. The day will come when she will be ripe enough to spread seed of her own.

And then Jacky gets killed. WHAT a kick in the gut!

Or so Satan would like to use it as such. It's not what happens in our lives, but how we react to it, and we (family) myself especially, instantly took the pitch'fork and tossed it right back at the devil, declaring that God would work the good from Jacky's death. It's only been a month, but so He has. Our family is closer, more united than ever. Many that have never really gone to church are going...some to Oak Leaf, some on a visit to Oak Leaf and then wherever other family members are going, then occasional visits back to Oak Leaf. (We're a BIG family, especially via extendeds...) It doesn't matter where they are going, just so that they're going and absorbing the word.

I miss Jacky, occasionaly shed a few tears and sometimes down'right break down just knowing that he won't be sharing family meals with us again, or studying/discussing the Bible with me (most times on topics after his leaving an Oak'Leaf service). But I don't have that emptiness inside me that some parents have at the shock of losing a child. I don't have depression. Even the night exactly one month ago that I was waiting for them to tell me what I didn't want to hear most, that he was truly dead...all that the father kept repeating into my spirit was, "I won' put any more on you than you can bare." The peace of Christ was with me, before, during and after. Thank God I was prepared! Thank God that Jacky was prepared!!!!

If I may pass on just one of the most beautiful things that he had written shortly before he died? I promise that I won't be tying up your space with long 'Jacky' memories, but I do want YOU as HIS leader to know that you're not preaching in vain, you're not "being cool" in vain. Your messages are getting across. (Folks feel to fit in). You are planting seed, bringing forth fruit. So don't worry, let go and let God and just keep doing what you're doing. You're bringing forth fruit in due season, not according to your will, but according to God's most perfect will. My prayers will forever be with you.

From Jacky:
To be persecuted, to lay your life down for the love that has come to set you free
From the nothing that you may have something.
To give up very little and gain every bit.
The persecutioner's intent was to take life away,
But gave the persecuted for his faith, his gift from God in heaven.
These men know what a deep breath feels like.
The fragrance of life surrounds their air.
They sing a praise that give the death aid of hearing.
They see visions that will set sights in a blind man's eyes.
I would be willing for my Lord to die, that I may live real.
Everlasting, Jacky Amos

Karen Lukaszewski

I am so moved by this I hardly know what to say. I am so thankful that she took the time to share these thoughts with you. As a mother myself I can only hope that God will continue to bless her and keep her and give her the peace only He can provide. She is certainly a strong witness for her Lord and a strong example for us to follow. Michael I pray that you will take these words to heart and never forget what she has shared with you. It should be a great encouragement to you. We don't often get proof of our fruit but this should remind you that you are on the path that God set for you and that He blesses your efforts and goes before you. I know He has much more in store for you because He touched my mothers heart when you were 13 years old and told me so. Whenever you feel down or discouraged just remember Jacky. I love you so much and lift you up daily. God bless you and keep you. Mom


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You write well will be waiting for your new publications.


Merry Christmas! I wish you a lot of gifts and luck in the new year.


Happy New Year! The author write more I liked it.


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Hi Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, a cool site I like


With the new 2011. Year! Congratulations.

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    About Me

    • My name is Michael Lukaszewski. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and went to school at Florida State University. I'm the lead pastor of Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, Georgia. This is a blog of my personal thoughts and ideas, and does not necessarily reflect the official position of Oak Leaf Church or any other organization mentioned here.

      Church leaders and church planters, check out behindtheleaf.com. It's an inside look of the success, struggles, and ideas that come from starting a new church.