In my last take at blogging, I mentioned that I was in the process toward a new role that involved working with church planters and church planting. Officially, I started this role September 19th. It has been an exciting journey of trying to find and assess potential applicants toward being a church planter. I have met alot of really good people so far and a few interesting ones! God seems to continue to work and move in this area of church planting. There is a prayer team that regularly prays for the process and for our first set of residents that we will bring on board. If you are interested in being part of this prayer team, you can email us and let us know that you would like to receive updates and pray for the search.
I am still splitting my time in two different roles. I am working with teenagers and adult leaders to continue partnership with parents in the area of discipling teenagers. We continue to meet weekly as a youth group and are currently going through a series on relationships and sex. It has been an exciting series where we have seen God do some good things in the hearts and the minds of our teenagers. Parents have been able to have conversations in these areas with their teenagers because of the series. Small group leaders have been able to host good discussions during small groups. I will miss youth ministry and will miss the regular interaction with adult leaders. But God has given me the desire for something different, in the area of church planting.
In the area of church planting, I currently spend most of my time networking with those that may be good residents or may know people that might be good residents. What I am finding is that there is an undercurrent of people that are excited about church planting and what it means to rediscover sharing the gospel with a culture that is unreached with the message of hope. Alot of the conversations that I have area excited that churches are moving toward culture and are seeking to share the gospel with others. This seems to be the sentiment from most of the people that I am speaking with. I have been networking with others that are leading a similar strategy in their context (Local church church planting) and also those that might be networking on a grander scale (across cities and even across the nation). This has been a great learning process for me to understand the ins and the outs of church planting as it currently stands in the United States.
As I survey the landscape of church planting, I realize that each context of church planting is different. I have known that US church planting is totally different then Mexico church planting for a long time, but what I was unaware of was that Wichita church planting is totally different then Kansas City Church planting. There are some similarities between all three, but by and large, they are three totally different contexts that must be seen as such.
It is incredibly important that I continue to learn from ‘cross cultural’ church planting models and experiences but also be careful to not adopt the contextual issues only the global principles. I’m excited to continue to grow in this area.
If you are interested in what residency might look like in this area of church planting or what is happening at West E. Free in the area of church planting, you might check out www.westefc.org/cp and enjoy!