April 20, 2010

Planting a Church in Huber Heights

My big announcement is that over the next year I will be working to launch a church in Huber Heights, Ohio. For some of you, this isn't that big of an announcement...because you already know. For others, it is completely new. Two weeks ago, my pastor made the announcement at the staff meeting, and I have been looking for the right time to make the announcement.

4 years ago I left a my position as pastor at a church I planted in Missouri and moved back to Dayton with the goal of one day planting a church. I have been working at the Dayton Vineyard at various positions (pastoral assistant, hospitality coordinator, communications coordinator, office manager)...all to learn more. Now I get to move forward, expanding the influence of serving others in Jesus' name that is such a vital part of what we do here at the Vineyard.

When I finally accepted God's call to ministry at the age of 18, I immediately got involved in the ministry of my local church in Huber Heights. I remember walking out of the church, knowing there were good people in the church, but also recognizing that more could be done to reach the people of Huber Heights with God's love and message of salvation. I never imagined that one day God would lead me to the place where I could be the person who plants that church that reaches what I call the Crossroads Corridor. 

I am in the planning and praying process. I don't have everything figured out yet (if I ever will!). But I know there is a lot more prayer and work ahead of me. I plan to use some of my posts here on this blog to chronicle the journey of this new church.

I need your help!

Here are several things:
  1. Pray: we will need money, people, resources, but especially God's presence and direction
  2. Pray for me and my family. There is a lot planning, preparation, and work to be done, but there will also be a lot of spiritual warfare.
  3. People: We need quality people to serve at outreach events, take part in the ministry of this new church, and help us get it launched.
  4. We will begin monthly meetings this fall. I am praying for 35 people for our first meeting.
  5. Help us get the word out that a new church is coming to Huber Heights! Word of mouth is the biggest way to build momentum.
I believe God is going to do something great in Huber Heights. I can see His hand and direction in my life leading me to this point.

Update: We are now meeting weekly for services check us out at www.daytoncrossroads.com.

April 5, 2010

The Church Needs Better Answers to Suffering

This quote from Tim Keller is a reminder that the Western Church needs something more in our explanations of suffering...
Members of churches in the West are caught absolutely flat-footed by suffering and difficulty. This is a major problem, especially if we are facing greater 'liminality'—social marginalization—and maybe more economic and social instability. There are a great number of books on 'why does God allow evil?' but they mainly are aimed at getting God off the hook with impatient Western people who believe God's job is to give them a safe life. The church in the West must mount a great new project—of producing a people who are prepared to endure in the face of suffering and persecution.
Read his article How Do We Handle the Big Issues Facing the Church? at the Resurgence blog. Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. I love listening to his messages...intelligent, thoughtful, biblical, and applicable.