Thursday, February 24, 2011
We Plant Life-Part 1
We've found out it's not going to be easy. Doable? Yes. Easy? No. Who knew all the details that go into planting a church? And the fact that we are an extension campus, quite honestly, takes many large burdens off of us such a fund raising and coming up with weekly sermons. We really get to focus in on the launch team, the acquisition of a property to have services, and the well-being and development of the future flock. Things we love to do anyway!
Included in this pre-launch period was ARC 2.0 Advanced Church Planters Training in Birmingham, Alabama. ARC (Association of Related Churches) is a life-giving organization that seeks to plant healthy and successful churches in the USA. It was founded by my an amazing pastor whom I used to serve while living in Charleston, SC, Greg Surratt, and I respect him deeply on many levels, so I felt confident that this organization would be top notch.
I underestimated it. Completely. We drove to Birmingham to attend a 4.5 day training at Church of the Highlands, and quite honestly, have not seen that level of excellence in a long time. Or ever. The entire week was thought through. Every detail, from the material we'd be going through to the fancy soaps in the bathrooms, was thought of. There was a not a glitch.
I'm not saying it was PERFECT. I'm saying it was EXCELLENT. Perfection is about "me" (or "us"). And this, my friends, was definitely not that. Excellence is about other people and about God. Yes, that was this training was all about for the folks at ARC. They gave us their best so that we would be prepared to go out and plant life-giving churches and that God's kingdom would be expanded through us.
What an awesome way to look at investing. Since everything in the natural was thought through so thoroughly, we were able to flow in the Spirit as we engaged in conversations with other church planters, digested much of the meaty material, and sought the Lord to help us achieve the dreams He's put on our hearts.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on this life-giving church planting process!