Tag Archives: Living Grace Church

Church Planting: Nuts and Bolts

Last week I talked about how important the foundation is for a church plant. If Jesus is not the foundation, then whatever you build will eventually crumble. A church plant needs leaders who are following Jesus wholeheartedly (by following what He says in His word both within church and in the home).

A church plant also needs people praying: praying for God’s power, strength and protection for when (not if) the enemy comes knocking. Prayer for godly leaders. Prayer that we do not lose sight of our first love, Jesus. Prayer for those whose lives will be touched. Prayer, prayer did I mention prayer?

Ok, great. Foundation. Got that. So how about the walls? The roof? When do you start building (or planting the church)? I know a lot of you are curious about the process. So I wanted to share this week what we are doing and how you can be a tangible part of this plant!

First: Finances. Someone asked me the other day what was the scariest part of church planting. Without hesitation, I said finances. For me personally, this is the scariest part. No paycheck. Trusting God to take care of us.

It is going to take time before this ministry can support itself. After weeks of prayer, seeking wise counsel, and looking at all our options, Dan and I decided to have me go back to work full time. Why? Primarily Dan is going to need the freedom and flexibility to meet with people and to help start the church. By working, I will be able to give him that freedom and serve the church in this way.

Not that Dan will be sitting at home eating bon bons :). He is going back to school and getting a one-year masters degree in church planting. This will serve twofold: financial aid to support us and give him some additional training in church planting. This also allows him to stay home with the kids and again meet with people.

Second: Support. No person is an island and neither is a church plant. Before we even considered the possibility of church planting here, Dan met with local pastors to ask their advice. Our heart is for the new church to not be in competition but complementary to other local gatherings. After receiving positive feedback, Dan then asked a couple local church planters to mentor him.

Along with local support, we are in the process of being evaluated by national organizations that help church planters.

Third: Connections. Church planting is a contact sport :). In order to reach people, we have to meet people. So over the summer, there will be casual events for people to come and check out Living Grace Church. Our first one will be tomorrow. Next month there will be another one. And more the rest of the year.

Along with casual events, we want to start connecting with people who feel led to be a part of this church plant. Those that have a passion for seeing a church birthed, those that like adventure with risk.

This will be a community launch, not a Dan and I thing. I know some of you have been following our church plant and wondering where you fit in. You are welcome to join us and see what God is going to do. Someone asked a few days ago; “I love my church, but I want to help you.” Great! You can still be a part of the Launch Team, and when we are birthed return to you home church. This plant is a God thing, not an us thing. We want to reach as many as we can, and that is only accomplished when we put aside differences and live out our faith in community where others can see it.

After all, church is who we are, not something we attend :).

If the launch team is not for you, or perhaps you live far away, then consider being a prayer partner for Living Grace Church (a very vital part of our foundation).

If you are interested in being a prayer partner, click here for more info. By joining the Prayer Team, you will receive emails with specific prayer requests and updates on what is happening.

If you want to help us launch Living Grace Church, click here. We are looking for people who will help with events, help us connect with the community, perhaps provided skills or gifts that we don’t possess (like graphic design, music, visual media, or just love hanging out with people and being goofy… although that’s a skill Dan has in abundance :P).

Thanks for taking time to pray for us and considering being a part of the Launch or Prayer Team. Tomorrow is our first official event. Come with any questions you have and an appetite. Falls Park, 11am-2pm. Free hotdogs and a drink (yum!).

 

 

Church Planting: The Foundation

How do you start a church? Do you spam flyers everywhere, then rent a room and start doing Sunday morning services?

How is a church really born?

First, it must begin with a foundation. Just like building a house, you don’t just set up the walls and roof and call it good. All it would take is one nice big Midwestern storm and poof! The house falls. Same with a church. Without a solid foundation, a church falls.

So what is that foundation? Jesus.

Before a church even begins, it must be founded on Jesus. Those starting the church must be following Him, listening to Him, asking Him what He desires for the church. If a church does not start with Jesus, then it does not have a foundation.

So how does that look practically?

First, the leaders. Those who desire to lead the church should first look at the qualifications listed in the Bible. Are they living out these qualities? Are they living obedient to Jesus? Here are a few of the qualifications listed:

  • Lives a blameless life.
  • Faithful to his wife.
  • Not arrogant or quick tempered.
  • Not dishonest with money.
  • Love what is good.
  • Live wisely and be just.
  • Live a devout and disciplined life.
  • Must have a strong belief in the message he was taught.

There are more, but these are just a few of the qualities the Bible lists for those desiring to lead the church. I’m overwhelmed even looking at them. Whew!

Does this mean that leaders need to be perfect? No, or else they would not need Jesus. But a leader should be known for living out the qualities listed in the Bible. And humble enough to admit when they do sin, ask forgiveness, and move on.

Now notice, it doesn’t list leaders need to wear ties, have the right shoes, hairdo, or anything external like that. It lists qualities of the heart, character. It matters what the leader is on the inside, not the outside. A Spirit-led humble heart that follows Jesus. A leader who is worried about putting on a good front when at church, but acts differently at home will weaken the church’s foundation. A church’s foundation will only remain solid as long as the leaders are godly both at church and in the home.

Practically, what does that mean for Living Grace Church? First, it means that Dan and I need to examine our own lives. Are we following Jesus and obeying his Word? Are we living out these qualities (not perfectly, but consistently)? I include myself because as a pastor’s wife, I am a leader too, if nothing else because people are watching me.

This also means those desiring to help lead Living Grace Church need to be godly leaders. As those people come forward, we need to ask them if they are following what God says about leaders in the church. And then see if their lives back it up over time.

Godly leaders are crucial to the foundation of a church. It is the leaders who guard the flock, lead by example, serve like Jesus served (with a towel in hand, washing feet), and sacrifice because they know people matter to God. When a church is built on these kinds of people, people who love and follow Jesus, then the foundation will be solid.

Another crucial part of planting a church is prayer. Prayer goes hand in hand with godly leaders when pouring the foundation of a church. Without prayer, how will we hear God? Prayer is time spent with Jesus, asking and then quietly listening. It cannot be rushed. Let me say that again. Prayer cannot be rushed. It takes time to align ourselves with Jesus, to finally quiet our heart before Him, then hear Him.

Prayer changes our hearts. We begin to see the world as Jesus does. We begin to love people as Jesus does. Prayer prepares us to follow Jesus wherever He leads because we have spent time with Him, quietly, daily.

Again, what does that mean for Living Grace Church? It means we need people praying for this newborn church. We need people quieting themselves before Jesus, asking Him to direct His church. We need prayer for godly leaders, for endurance when the enemy fights back, for those whose lives will be touched. And soon we will need prayer for things such as a facility, finances, and partners.

It is not ambition that will plant this church. Nor hard work or luck. The church will be built on Jesus. It will be built on those who choose to give themselves to God to be used in whatever way He chooses. It will be hard, scary, and sacrificial. But by choosing to give ourselves to God, many more will come to know Him. And that, my friends, makes it all worth it.

 

*If you are interested in joining us, we need people for both our Launch Team and Prayer Team. To find out more, go to www.aplace4grace.org or facebook.com/aplace4grace.

 

*For more passages on godly leadership, check out Acts 20:28-31; 1 Pet 5:1-4 ; Titus 1:5-9 ; 1 Tim 3:1-6 .

 

 

Church Planting

Freefalling. Leap of faith. No safety net. I call it church planting.

I know many of you have been wondering what Dan and I have been up to the last few months. Truth be told, Dan and I have been wondering the same thing. What next? What path do we take? Where do we go? But most importantly, what does God want us to do?

Now we know. And we want to share with you.

A couple years ago, a seed was planted inside both our hearts and minds. The idea of church planting. We began to research what that meant and how one begins a church. Then God brought along a church for Dan to pastor at, so the idea settled in the back of our minds.

Two months ago, we found ourselves facing a blank future. Should we continue in ministry? Find secular jobs? Or… revive the dream of a church plant?

I will be honest, the thought of church planting scares the pants off of me. I am a creature of security. I like to have a stable life with a stable income, savings in the bank, something for a rainy day. To church plant means no security. No guarantees, no income, no safety net. Yet lately, as I look at life, that’s true of anything we do. Our health can vanish in an instant, bank accounts can disappear overnight, jobs gone within minutes. The only guarantee in life is God. His hands are the best security there is.

So we are taking the plunge. Dan and I are church planting in the Madison and Hamilton counties of Indiana. Our heart and mission are for the unchurched and overchurched (those who have been Christians/churchgoers all their lives, but are chained to religion). We not only want to share God, but also our lives with those who God brings. We want to be a safe place for life changing grace.

However, no man (or church) is an island. I have learned over the years the power of prayer. And so I am asking for anyone who is lead to pray for our mission to the people of Indiana. And if you feel even more risky, be part of our Launch Team. Both are vital to launching a church. To find out more, visit Living Grace Church on facebook or http://www.aplace4grace.org.

Dan and I are currently working on a more detailed website and hope to have it up sometime in the next couple weeks. I will also be blogging about how exactly one starts this crazy adventure called church planting next Friday, so stay tuned :).