Welp, it's been 8 months since my family and I made the move from Webster, NY to Fort Worth, TX. It has been a whirlwind for sure! The Lord has been faithful in so many ways! We have been able to build friendships with people from the Paradox church. I have personally been able to make friends and build with the people at my workplace, Tarrant County College. The Lord has provided for our needs despite living at a financial negative since our move. And we have made some significant connections with organizations that focus on city renewal.
Hows the training going?
Since beginning the church planting residency with the Paradox church I have benefited from written resources such as Center Church by Tim Keller, Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer and Daniel I'm, Saving Eutychus by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell, Simple Church by Thomas Rainer and more. I have completed the Acts 29 pre-assessment process which entails theological and pastoral probing and a series of short videos from church planters from around the country. I am about to join the Texas Baptist church planting center for weekly training in all things church planting and in the summer of 2018, I plan to join a church planting leadership cohort with Elliot Grudem.
The Vision (In development)
The vision of our church, right now, is 2 fold. We want to be Biblically Formed and Community Focused. We believe that we need seek the welfare of our city by inserting the gospel into its veins. That takes biblically formed people being intentional about caring for and shaping our community's identity.
Biblically Formed: This means that we need to be a people who eat, sleep and breath empathetic biblical truth in a life on life manner. We will be intentional about teaching the whole counsel of God during Sunday services and in Discipleship groups as our primary means of biblical life on life community. 2 Timothy 3 outlines the importance of both the Word and Discipleship. We have adopted our method from that principle.
Community Focused: We love our community too much to huddle up in a building and hope for people to come to us. Jesus tells his disciples to “Go”. Therefore, contrary to most churches, we will not be a church that starts projects, ministries or missions that already exist in our community in various forms (not an absolute statement). On the contrary, we believe that our presence in the city will be most profitable by inserting biblically formed people into projects and missions that already exist, with a focus on sharing the good news of Christ with both the volunteers and consumers there. For example, instead of starting a soup kitchen (and all that comes with it), we’d rather bring a gospel witness to an existing one.
All of this is still in development stages, so prayer is appreciated as we continue to wade these uncharted waters.
As of right now my church planting partner (Eric Darjean) and I are building relationships with people. We have had the opportunity to preach a number of times and have plans and desires to get more involved in our community's school systems, teen centers, and other city renewal projects. We have been greatly hindered in this, however, by our jobs. We are both working a bunch of hours to provide adequate income for our families. Thus, the time we ought to be spending in and on the ministry is being eaten up in other places. As a result, we will be raising support to free us up to pursue this work full throttle!
Keep us in prayer and keep your eyes peeled for further updates in the near future.