Last week I shared a blog post about leaving a really incredible church to plant a new church. For some of you, I'm sure that you have lots of questions. For the last couple of months I've been hearing lots of really great questions like, what does it mean to plant a church? Where are you planting this new church? Why are you planting a new church? When will the church start ... meeting? Where will the church meet? What kind of church is it? How do you start a new church? Etc.
My hope with this blog post is to begin to answer some of those questions, but it's good for you to know that I don't have the answers to all of those questions yet. Here's what I do know...
What does it mean to plant a church?
This can mean a lot of different things, but in my case it means that we are starting a brand new church. It means that I'm starting from scratch in many ways. I don't have a building. I don't have a congregation. I do know that I'm hoping to plant this new church in the community of Huber Heights, Ohio. This is an area near where we currently live that is growing in population, growing in economic development, and also growing in need.
How do you start?
One of the best ways to describe my role is that I'll look a lot more like a missionary than a pastor at first. Just like missionaries who go overseas to reach people for Jesus, I'll be doing the same thing here. There's a lot of ground work, connecting, relationship building, team building, training, and praying that goes into planting a church. This is what I'll be doing for the next several months. We won't start officially meeting for a while. I don't have an exact timeline on this yet, but I'll keep you posted.
What kind of church is it?
Let me start by saying that I believe God is at work in all different kinds of churches across the world. I don't believe there is any one church or denomination that's got it completely right. I believe the Church (capital C) is much bigger than all of that. I actually wrote a blog post about this in the past that you can read about here. But this particular church will be connected to an organization known as the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches. You can learn more about the FEC on their website. The FEC is an organization that I've had a longstanding relationship with throughout my life. I'm excited to be planting a new church with the FEC, and I'll be going through a lot of training with them over the next few months as I prepare to plant this church.
Why am I planting a new church?
The best and most honest answer I can give you to this question is this: I'm planting a new church because I believe this is what God has called me to do. He has given me a heart to reach the community of Huber Heights with the Gospel, and planting a new church is one of the best ways to do this. On one level, this is one of the riskiest, scariest decisions I've ever made. On the other, it seems so simple. At the end of the day, this is what Jesus called us to do.
How can you help?
This is honestly the most important thing you can do to help. Pray for me. Pray for my wife and daughter. Pray for wisdom. Pray for clarity. Pray for vision. Pray for the community of Huber Heights. Pray for provision. Pray for support. Pray for God to have his way in and through this new church.
2. Support us financially.
One of the biggest risks I've taken is that my salary for the first couple of years will be entirely support-based. On top of that, there are a lot of upfront costs that go into planting a new church. We are trusting that God will provide through his people. If you'd like to support us financially, you can give a year-end gift, a one-time donation, or schedule ongoing giving online. It's all tax-deductible. Here's how you can do so through the FEC ministries website...
- Go to fecministries.org
- Choose the "Give Now" tab
- Once you are on the giving page, you can choose scheduled giving or one time donations.
- When given the option, choose the "Dayton, OH" fund.
- Finish the process and you'll be all set.
I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions. If you'd like to stay connected and updated on this new church plant, you can subscribe to my blog by clicking here. Thanks so much for all of your love and support.