Friday, April 18, 2014

the local church // church planting

if you've read the love story series, you know that my husband & i met at church four years ago. this community of believers has helped shape who we are individually as well as together. interning with this church was a very pivotal point in my Christian walk. it helped me understand more deeply what a disciple truly is and what life we are called to. it helped me to learn how to study the Bible for myself and taught me the importance of discipling others. it taught me how important community is.


the church we've been a part of for the past four years started out as a church plant. if you're new to the idea of church planting and why it is important, you can read about it here. over the past four years, we've met at about 5 or 6 different buildings. this past year, we merged with another church in the area and now have our own building. we've been growing & it is so amazing to see all the changes this community has been through over the past four years and how far we have come.

and now, our church is planting our first church in the city. our church has a leadership institute residency where they train up men who want to be pastors - it is a 2 year pastoral training where the current pastors mentor, disciple & teach these men in order to raise up leaders within the local church. what i think is really cool about this residency, is that once the leaders start their own church plant, they continue to be mentored for the next year. the two pastors of our church plant have gone through this residency together & are now ready to lead their own church. a kingdom community on mission with God.

the city we are planting this church in is 80% unchurched. this city is also growing fast. there is new industry moving to this part of town & there are 3 universities close by. it is expected to see a 50% population growth in the next 15 years. so there is desperate need of more local churches.

my husband & i have the amazing opportunity to be involved in this church plant. there is a group of about 40 of us who will make up the core group for this new church. this sunday, Easter, will be the first official sunday gathering of our core group. we will meet as a core group until September in order to grow together as a community. then in September we will launch the church publicly.

my job has been extremely busy these past 6 months since i took this new job. because of all the hours i've had to work, we haven't been able to be as involved as we would've liked to. being intentional & serving together is something that our first year of marriage has lacked. however, my job will settle back down in about another month and we are excited for all of the new opportunities we will have to serve & be involved.

it is so exciting to serve together as husband & wife. it brings an added element to our marriage & i am looking forward to how this will stretch & grow our marriage. we are leader apprentices for one of the new small groups at our church. this means that we will learn from & be mentored by the current leaders of our small group. and some day when the group needs to multiply, we will become leaders.

this is a little bit scary for my introverted self, but i do love adventure & this will definitely be that. neither of us are super prepared or super comfortable with things like this. but isn't that where God shines the most? and this is what makes me excited - that we have the opportunity to make much of God with our marriage. that we have the opportunity to glorify him more together than apart. that He works not in spite of our weaknesses, but through our weaknesses.


have you ever heard of church planting? how do you serve in your local church?
for those of you that are married, how do you & your spouse serve together?

23 comments:

  1. Our church is a church plant! For the past three years our parent church has mentored our staff, and in a few weeks we will be officially our own entity, since we have enough growth and are financially self-sufficient (maybe different from how your plant is set up, but that's how our denomination does it). I have served in the children's ministry and help shepherd a small group. My husband's work schedule has made it tricky to serve together, but since his job has changed we would like to find something that we can both be a part of.

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  2. I've lived places where church planting was more focused on--but where we currently live, the sad thing is that there are so many half-empty church buildings--the churches have great resources, there's almost too many of them, but people aren't going. So that's a different problem which should really be focused on here!

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  3. How exciting!!! Can't wait to hear more about it. PS Colby and I too met at church :)

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  4. I had not heard of church planting - that is really interesting!

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  5. My friends planted a church in KS and it is going very well. I guess for me, church planting has been a common thing because I was a MK. Lots of missionaries who go overseas church plant.


    My husband and I work with kids on Wednesday nights at church. I'm glad we are both in the same type of work so we can relate to each other. I don't think we will always be doing this but it is good to serve together, here now.


    I'm excited to hear more about your church plant. Keep us posted =)

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  6. It's so wonderful getting involved in baby churches! My dad was a pastor my entire life, and some of that time was spent in assorted church planting projects. Very special. And I agree with the other commenters - keep up updated on how it's going!

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  7. I am so stoked to know this about you! And now I want to read more.


    I've also been in a church plant since September 2009. God put church planting on my heart when he saved me in 2007 and called me to this church plant in Canada while I was working in Malaysia.


    Since then I've been a bit of a jack of traits when it comes to serving and loving our church body, but I feel like God is teaching me a whole bunch of stuff to train me to something that He's calling me to. Not sure exactly what, but I anticipate that this will not be the first church plant that He will call me to. :)

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  8. how awesome!!!! that has got to be exciting times!!! right now my husband is serving with the media team & i'm serving on the finance team so we are serving together...separately! if that makes sense!! my work schedule has been super crazy though for the past few months so i definitely know how hard it is to serve together when work takes up so much time for one of you!!

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  9. oh wow! it is so crazy how different the church situation can be depending on where you live!

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  10. oh cool!!! :) it's a great place to meet i think!!

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  11. it's been such a reality in my life sometimes i forget that some people have never heard of it! :) but i think it's neat how different the church can be in different places!! yet God works in all ways!!

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  12. oh wow!! yeah you're right - i guess MK's really know the insides & outs of church planting!! yeah that is awesome that you get to serve together and understand where each other are at!! :) sure thing!!!

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  13. it really is!!! this will be our second time, but our first time as a married couple! :) so we are very excited!! that is neat that you got to see it so closely!!

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  14. thanks Lorraine!! :) that is so neat that God has called you to be a part of the work He is doing!!! so cool that He is training you up in an assortment of ways!!! :)


    you're right!! it seems like i hadn't heard of church planting until maybe 8 or so years ago. and now it's all i hear about!! it seems like people are listening to God's call to send & go and it's just amazing how He's spreading His people out all over the world!

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  15. jollylittlelife.blogspot.comApril 20, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    My church (my dad is the Pastor) is the product of a church plant. We took off from our previous church when I was only ten. Every Sunday we would announce where church would be held the following week. I even remember a few Sundays when we announced that the congregation would get a phone call once the location was determined. Set up, tear down, man it was rough. And then, after TEN years of that, we have our own building. Praise God. It is amazing. Our church has been growing like crazy and is so abundantly blessed. And you know, I think that our congregation is stronger and closer because of all of the hard work that we have put in together as a church family. It has bonded us as an amazing core group.

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  16. oh wow! how neat!!! :) we changed venues so much & when we met in a school, over the holidays it seemed like we were at a different place each Sunday! you're so right though - set up and tear down definitely builds a bond!! thanks for sharing Jonni! :)

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  17. One of the churches we have been checking out is a church plant as well! That sounds so exciting that you are going to be in the core group of members who are building the foundation for the church! And yes, when we are uncomfortable IS when God shines the most!

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  18. wow I think that is so awesome. It's actually the first time I've heard of church planting.

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  19. Love this! I work full time right now for a brand new church plant in our area...like one year old kind of brand new! We love it, and also have a program similar to what you are describing for young men to get training for church planting! We have seen so much about what the body of christ really is and how to serve it now that we are married. We help with music, childcare, communion, bringing meals. We have our doors open several nights a week for people to come eat and fellowship together. It is so sweet. So happy to find you via the link up today!

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  20. how awesome!!! it's so crazy how i hear about church planting everywhere now! and just a few years ago i had no idea what it was! so awesome to see how God is moving all over!
    you are so right! i tend to withdraw into myself when i'm uncomfortable, but i need to remember that is when God shines through the most! :)

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  21. i agree, Neisha! :) i heard of church planting for the first time before i went to college & i thought it was so interesting! and it's awesome to be involved in a start up!

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  22. that is so neat, Rachel! :) it is so encouraging to me to hear about so many other churches doing things like this! it's amazing to see how God is working all around us! i think it's so neat that you & your husband are serving together full speed ahead! :)

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  23. Okay, I love the way your church has a leadership residency!! My church is quite old fashioned and when we are in need of pastors the men go and vote and some random guy (okay, well it's not random to God, but you get the idea) is all of a sudden the new pastor. And then they kind of just leave him high and dry to figure out how to do things on his own. So I LOVE the idea that of residency training!!

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