Beginning Again

Posted on May 28, 2011

I find myself pregnant again. I hope the imagery is not too much for the visual thinkers out there, but the weight inside me is growing and becoming harder to ignore.

I carried my first book for a little over ten years before labor began, and the delivery was completed. I hope this pregnancy goes much more quickly. All I know is that I cannot hold it in much longer.   I began yesterday.  For those who walked (or read) with me through the first labor and delivery you know that this is not a promise of release dates, as much as it is a notification.  Here we go again.

Book number one, Think Differently Live Differently: Keys to a Life if Freedom had a specific target and a specific mission.  So does this next one, but it is a bit

different than the first.  TDLD as we have affectionately called my first baby, was written for the unchurched and those  who have not been exposed to the Gospel.  I tried as best as I know, to write in a language and approach that was not colored by my thirty three years of life as a “church-person”.  The message was an overview of how and why Jesus’ message and ministry changes the human condition and experience.  I want people to get free.

This next baby, seems to have a different target and mission.  The mechanism that is designed to be the hope of the world, is the local church.  Some of you have heard me describe myself as a missionary to the church.   For this reason, this next book, is being written for the church, in a season where we (the church) search out ways to change the world, and in that process, search out ways to change ourselves.

I have been a pastor for six years now, after fighting valiantly to resist the title. I fought it not because of the inherent, biblical intent of the title.  If I were fighting against the true meaning of the word, I would say I lost that battle twenty or more years ago.  As a verb, I began to pastor people long ago.  As a noun, or a title, I fear that the impact of the word, “pastor” creates a whole new set of cultural perceptions (the stranger on the plane who asks what I do for a living) and expectations (the church member who sees a badge on my lapel) that I felt could work against the very calling itself. (well, you’re supposed to ___________, you’re a pastor!).

But like any good missionary, I joined the very culture I was sent to impact.

So this next book, I write to my family.  Not specifically the local body where I am on staff, but my family worldwide.   I am deeply burdened that in this next season, we, the church, learn to be the life-giving, world-changing organism that we are designed to be.  If I may, I would like to see us become the Bride that we were created and redeemed to be.

Last August, I re-posted a series called “Change the Right Thing” which started with a post called “Turn up the Light” on August 16, 2010. It was this series that first caught my attention and this is probably when this child was conceived.

I will keep you posted….


  • “I would like to see us become the Bride that we were created and redeemed to be.” Oh, how that’s been the pray of my heart. I long for the day when American evangelicalism is replaced with biblical discipleship.There are many who are willing to tear it apart and dismantle all that is wrong. There are few who are willing to put it back together…I think you are one of them, Mr. Hamp. We have work to do…let’s get started!

  • This may be the most significant target and message you could labor to bring us. It will serve us all. Can’t wait!

  • Well, I am so glad that your first “child” was so easy??? Those easy children trick us… i mean entice us into having more!!! Can’t wait to meet your second and third creation!!!!! Praying that the labor is somewhat quick and painless!

  • Totally got chills reading this. So excited. Will be praying that the process is all it is supposed to be and the outcome is grander than anyone could have hoped. Also- not gonna lie- I’m totally a visual thinker and this kinda kills me. I sat front row with M.Star at a teaching you did for Pink once and had the same problem, barely held back tears of laughter as you held your first “baby”. affectionately talked of it’s “birth”. Kudos to you Pastor Bob. Thanks for having such a willing heart, open ears, eyes that see and hands that work to build His Kingdom. Keep Shinin’.

  • So many thoughts in my mind… so few words to speak them! I will cheer for you! This is a good thing!

  • Cindy S

    Pastor Bob, I can’t wait to read your new book when it comes out. Blessing on you!

  • Laura Mantey

    Looking forward to it, Bob.

  • Cristie Penn

    We look forward to it and will pray for you and the process. Your authentic, transparent heart is a powerful transportation tool for the King of Glory to reveal His heart to and for the world, invite the wounded and heal the brokenhearted. As much as I ache for the lost of the world, the walking wounded Bride and the weapons of the enemy make me angry! I can hardly wait! He will share His heart with you as you press in and “listen.” He has gifted you in taking His Word and processing it then finding a vocabulary the BODY can understand. Supernaturally the Holy Spirit brings a response reaping more than you ever realize! Thank you for saying “yes!”

  • Nancy

    Oh, the poor unsuspecting person who asks on the plane what you do and you answer, not with your title, but with your mission and passion. Ah, what a blessing should they choose to listen. May the gestation of book #2 not feel as long as it actually is.

  • Cindy

    Do you realize that pregnant people usually don’t announce that they are pregnant until they are about 10 weeks – 3 months along? So glad you decided to announce it. Congratulations to you and to us the Church!

    “Some of you have heard me describe myself as a missionary to the church.” It is what we need. Most churches I have been exposed to (and there have been a few) are all about getting you saved. It’s kind of like, “Halleluiah, you are saved! Good luck walking that out. Bye-bye”

    Can I join your missionary team? Oh, wait, I have. 🙂

  • Denise W.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy Bob! I pray the Lord leads you and guides you through every part of the process and that His peace be with you as you labor and give birth to this work. Your voice is needed in the church and in the world so I pray this delivery is soon!

    Blessings’
    Denise

  • Josiah C

    Can’t wait for your sophmore release!! What’s the title going to be? “Chruch Differently, Impact Differently”? 🙂 May rich blessings flow from our Lord’s throne room into your brain as it takes ink to paper… I know we’ll all be very blessed by it.

  • chuck

    I am not sure how to say this profoundly, so I will say it simply. When standing in a gifting, all of the treasure is activated, elevated, and limitless. It’s not about the label, Bob. It’s about the gifting and you are standing in it. God Bless.

  • I am looking forward to it, Bob. I hope the labor and delivery is quicker this time.

  • Bob,
    I can’t wait… I mean that… My heart jumped at the thought that another book of yours was in the works…

    May God pour out His blessings – flood you with anointed words and gift you with what His bride needs to hear.

    Thanks for pressing in – and listening to Our Great God…

    “To The King!… To The Kingdom!”
    “Our God is On The Move!”

    Ben

  • Kevin

    TDLD was to the unchurched?! That’s not me and I’m getting healed and restored from it.

  • Ted Crawford

    Bob,

    I’ve got a fuzzy premonition of what your next book could be like; iconoclastic, among other things. Many “church people”, myself included, will balk at having their “Jesus Culture Club” paradigm threatened. We want a comfortable Jesus. No such person exists! He was, is, & always will be controversial, confrontational, revolutionary… and full of grace and truth. I’m finding out
    more and more that I can’t handle the Truth. He handles me.

  • Bryan Pierre

    Brother, all I can say is that I look forward to reading it. I loved TDLD. That book PUSHED and MADE me visit Gateway Church just for the classes. Thinking about attending those on Wednesday, too. So, in writing the book I ask that you take your time…but hurry up…LOL

  • OH YA! Can’t wait! We’ll all be pacin’ in the waiting room!

  • TDLD helped me so much and I am a believer. I related so much of my own “brokenness” and with much prayer and Godly counsel, I can say that God took something broken and created something new. We have all experienced brokenness and should we examine the “break” more closely – we will certainly find that God made that breaking point the strongest part!

    I see that you are writing a book to your family, your church family…Has there been a “break” that God may be leading you to examine? A break that He can use you to communicate to the body the how, when, where that we, His Bride, are to go out specifically and shine?

    There is always a wedding rehearsal prior to the actual wedding. The fact that you stated you were pregnant reminded me of The Virgin Mary … My gut tells me something amazing is about to be birthed! I will be in prayer during your pregnancy and ask God for protection, to allow a healthy delivery. You are going to do amazing things through this book. It’s almost like I just heard God say, “Come Closer – Climb Higher”

  • Tina Pugh

    Thank you for taking on the role of pastor. Small churches like mine get to discover and benefit from your teaching because you became an official pastor. We are so grateful to have found your ministry. Foundations of Freedom is the first adult class I have ever taught (facilitate really because you do the teaching) and attendance and participation are higher and more positive than ever.

    I can’t wait to read the next book! Discovering truth about God’s Kingdom and freedom has already moved us closer to God’s plan for His church. He is faithful. I am grateful.