My wife and I have begun a journey into planting a church in South Eastern Wisconsin about this time next year into the fall. It has been an incredibly fast ride so far. We said yes to this journey about two months ago and it has been like drinking from a fire hose from God and his provision.
This last week I was in Birmingham, Alabama at the Church of the Highlands with 105 other potential church plant pastors. We were at a training with the group known as ARC (Association of Related Churches). From the late nights conversing with others and early mornings have my brain melted by some incredibly practical thoughts I was very blessed by this trip. I wanted to simply share 5 things really excited me about this time away.
- Partnership – This is possibly one of the biggest realizations in that there are others with the same passions and desire to see people come to know God in a deeper life giving way. Not being alone more importantly means I don’t have to do this alone.
- Practical systems – I am systems guy. Systems plus Holy Spirit equals intentional ministry being done. ARC gives some of the best practical systems that make sense and easy to implement.
- Proven success – We go to hear from other pastors who are following the model and teachings and with a 95% success rate of planted churches after 5 years That gives me some grounded confidence in this group.
- Passionate for God’s Kingdom – ARC doesn’t have really any affiliation with a denomination, but what i have heard/felt and sensed is their dedication to building up God’s kingdom, not adding to a denominational statistic. As pastor Chris Hodge (one of the founding members of ARC) communicated to us “God will give you a supernatural love for the city”. Was refreshing to be around people who were more concerned about the collision of Gods Kingdom with the cities we were going to be going to.
- Powerful vision – There is a boldness that comes from this group that empowers me and helps me refocus. ARC has a powerful vision to plant life giving churches that plant life giving churches. This vision to not simply shotgun into a town and saturate it with God’s word and hope people come, but a vision that reaches the hearts of the people and is life giving to them in a world that is so life taking.
It was a great week, met some amazingly driven new friends and set ablaze to join this group and learn more from them.
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