I haven't been this excited about a blog post in a while. A lot has happened in the last month, and momentum is really starting to build for our church plant. So with that said, I'm going to get down to business here and share some of this exciting news with you.
1. We have officially identified our target community for the church plant.
As I mentioned in some previous posts, we spent a couple of months early this summer working with a T.A.P. team to find the right community to plant a new church in the greater Fort Wayne region. We started by considering eight different communities in and around Fort Wayne, and we narrowed it down to one specific area where we felt God was clearly calling us to plant the church. The target area is known as the "07," which is the 46807 zip code in Fort Wayne. This is an area just south of downtown Fort Wayne in the heart of the city. It's also an area where I spent four years of my life attending Taylor University Fort Wayne. I'll be writing more about the 07 (pronounced "oh seven") in future blog posts, but I couldn't be more thrilled to be planting a church in this community.
2. My wife and I attended a church planter assessment ... and passed!
Madison and I had the privilege of attending the Discovery Center through the Excel Leadership Network in Sacramento, California at the end of July. I had several presentations to complete. We were interviewed in front of the large group a few times and in person a couple of times as well. We had a group project to complete with six other couples who were also attending the assessment. We had also taken some online assessments ahead of time that focused on our personalities, leadership styles, strengths, etc. We dug into those in real detail while we were there. My wife and I found that part to be the most meaningful to us because it helped us understand ourselves and each other better. At the end of the assessment, we were given a report with their recommendation for us. They gave us an unconditional green light, confirming that we have the necessary calling, gifting, and skill set to plant an effective church!
3. We are beginning to build a launch team.
Our next step is to build our launch team for the church plant. My personal goal is to grow the launch team to 50 people. We just had our first launch team forum on Sunday and we had 33 people show up. We've got another forum this Wednesday night and I'm expecting a good turn out for that one as well. We'll begin launch team training on Wednesday, August 24 and we'll meet every week for 12 weeks. The purpose of the training is to help every person catch the DNA of the new plant, to identify their role in the church plant, and then to equip them in their role so they can serve God and others with confidence and effectiveness.
4. We added a new family member to our house.
No, we didn't have our baby yet. We are due in December. No, we didn't get a dog, even though I would love one. But we did get Madison's younger sister for a year! Kara is a sophomore in college and she moved here from Peoria, Illinois to join us in this crazy church planting adventure. She just moved in last weekend, and we are super excited to have her with us. She'll be attending college here in town, and she is looking for a part-time job, preferably not in the food industry. So if you know of anything, feel free to pass it along.
That's about it for now. Thanks for taking the time to read up on our life. Also, thanks for all of your support. We are so grateful for your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support. I mean this sincerely when I say we couldn't do this without you.
Also, you can subscribe to get my blog sent directly to your email by clicking here.