I just returned home from what I hope is the first of many trips to Cuba. I was part of a team that trained 18 people for three days on a curriculum called “Church Planting Essentials.” I was trying to explain this to a couple on one of my flights home and I told them, “Its like creating a business plan before you start a business.” Church planting essentials gives the church planter a systematic approach to church planting. We found out while we were there that this was the first time that this course was taught outside of Havana. It is very exciting to train a group of students who are so eager to learn and who have a vision to transform their country through church planting
While we were in country Brian Craig shared with us a C.S. Lewis Quote from, The Screwtape Letters. Lewis said, “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.” I think this quote resonated with each of us who were on the trip. It only took one cold shower for me to realize that prosperity had found its place in me. One of the things that I learned in Cuba is that what we think is essential to “do church,” really isn’t essential. What we think we need in our society that is accustomed to a certain level of wealth would be seen as a luxury in Cuba, and much of the developing world.
Cuba has inspired me to get back to the basics of church. Because of my time in Cuba, I have come home with a new resolve developing the essentials of church. We can make the name of Jesus great without bells and whistles, we can disciple others and gather in community for free, it doesn't cost anything to share the gospel with others. Cuba reminded me that when prosperity is woven into my life it could easily become a distraction to my calling. I hope to return to Cuba soon, I think I learned more from the church there than they learned from me!