Most church planters I know walk into church planting with clarity in four areas:
- They know how God has wired them- including their passions, talents, strengths, and giftedness.
- They sense a calling to a specific group of people- whether it’s a neighborhood, cultural group, city, etc.
- They have a clear vision of what the church could and should be- rooted in the intersection of scripture and cultural context.
- They have a process in mind of how this will work- which involves strategic steps in leading people individually and collectively forward in following Jesus.
Many times when circumstances appear tougher, people respond slower, and momentum takes longer than we anticipated, we prematurely abandon the process for something that appears to move us more quickly towards our desired destination. Continue reading
If our week in Southern California was all about equipping and our week in Pennsylvania was all about unplugging, then our three weeks at a cottage in coastal Maine was definitely about refueling and listening. As many have asked what we did, the answer includes long strolls on the beach and through the woods, cycling the rolling hills of a coastal peninsula, hunting for hermit crabs with the kids, lots of time with the family at the pool and beach. What we did doesn’t really describe the significance of what happened: God truly used this time away to deepen my relationship with Him and with my family. Continue reading
Thanks to our good friends Ken & Lynn Nipp, we were able to really begin our sabbatical in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. Our goals for this sabbatical are simple: unplug, refuel, and listen to God. Unplugging is not easy and requires discipline. I’m understanding why Jesus made a habit of escaping to lonely places away from crowds to spend time with the Father. He’d often cross the Sea of Galilee to get away. In this modern era of technology this requires me staying off line (except for these posts) and putting my cell phone on a shelf. Continue reading
After returning to Burlington to pick up the kids, we made a detour through New Jersey on our way to Pennsylvania. We were in the New Brunswick area for only about 24 hours, but every block of that community has so many of memories connected to the six spent years we spent pouring ourselves out in helping start the Point Church. Even more important than seeing the place was briefly seeing people we know and love. Continue reading
We began our sabbatical on July 6 with Christin and I flying to southern California to attend a preaching/teaching conference at North Coast Church with 25 other couples involved in church planting. Larry Osborne and Chris Brown provided the best training I’ve personally experienced concerning preaching and teaching. None of this would have happened, though, without Brian Bloye and Kevin Dunlap of West Ridge Church providing this for church planters they’ve invested in over the years. These guys LOVE church planters and it shows.