” When my former pastor from Capitol Hill Baptist, Mark Dever, called one morning and asked me to meet him that day on the seminary campus, I felt reluctant. I was happy to meet with Mark, but doing so meant staying late at work. It also meant skipping my fifteen-minute afternoon nap, which was often the only thing lying between me and the abyss. But Mark has boundary issues and a way of getting what he wants, so later that day I chugged a jumbo-sized cup of gas station coffee and slumped down on a bench outside the seminary library, waiting for him to arrive.
When he did, we started with a few moments of chitchat, but he turned to business pretty quickly. Capitol Hill Baptist was growing out of its meeting space, he said, and the cost of making significant renovations to their old building was exorbitant. The elders of the church had decided to implement a strategy to plant churches in the surrounding suburbs. Mark was here to float a trial balloon: would I be interested in returning to DC after seminary to be CHBC’s guinea pig church planter?
I would eventually say yes, of course. Mark is a made man in the Reformed Mafia. He has a giant Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals logo tattooed on his back. He has J. I. Packer’s home phone number in his contact list under “Jim P.” You don’t say no to a guy like this.”