About 8 years ago, while starting a campus ministry at GMU, there were a bunch of consecutive weeks where nobody showed up to the Bible studies that I was "leading." Each week I sat there awkwardly wondering what went wrong..."Maybe they thought I said 7:30?" "Maybe they thought I said 7:45?" "It's not unusual for college students to be an hour late...right?"
During that time I decided three things:
If God does not move, then I'm wasting my time. I thought I could build an awesome ministry on the fact that I came from a great church and being likable enough. These weeks taught me that God is the one who builds - and all I can do is avail myself to Him.
I'm going to make the most of the moment. When I was really sure that nobody else would come, I would find something productive to do: pray, talk to the barista's, go out and meet people or just do the study that I was planning to do anyway.
I don't ever want to start something without a team. If I ever had the privilege of going somewhere or starting something, I would do it with a team (so much as it depends on me). A team approach offers a few advantages (greater impact, broader impact, varied skill sets, valuable/diverse insights, and so on...) but at the time there was one advantage that stood out beyond the rest: Even if nobody else showed I would at least know that I wasn't standing alone.
Whether I succeeded or failed, I was sure of one thing: I would not do it alone. I would be dependent on God, and connected to a team.
Tomorrow night we will have our first of many info meetings for the Denver Church plant. The goal is to cast a vision that allows people to see into the future to see the church that God is calling us to establish in Denver, and see who God calls to join the team.
In addition to an amazing sending church, and a great partnership with Every Nation, TeamDenver will be made up of an army of people who respond to the inspiration of God to be partners in ministry. There are many ways to partner, but here are the top 3:
Prayer lays the foundation for miracles. I am not aware of any awakening (movement of God among those who are not believers), revival (a fresh stirring within the church that produces greater affection for Christ, repentance and evangelistic zeal), or otherwise remarkable move of God that was not predicated by passionate and targeted prayer.
We believe that as we pray, God will do what is impossible for us to do on our own. Doors will open, and obstacles will be removed as we partner with God through prayer, and God will call some of you to join us in this way.
It costs money to start a church. We are seeking to raise 3 years of salary for me and Megan (I'm pretty sure that's the right pronoun) so that the church can focus on the other expenses for the first few years. If you don't want to give to us personally, but are excited about helping with operational expenses there's no shortage of opportunities. We'll be raising money for everything from sound equipment, to facility rental, communication needs, accounting services, etc.
Some of you will feel compelled to support these things through financial partnership. Either through a one-time gift, or sustaining monthly gifts. If this is you, please stay tuned for the actual numbers that correspond with the needs. They'll be out soon.
God is going to call some people to lay down the comfort of their current life arrangements and move to Denver. This is our GO Team, and they will be the pioneers who help build relationships and establish the ministry in Denver from the beginning. This call requires a little bit more discernment than the previous two methods of partnership, so I'll follow up with a blog about how to know if God is calling you to be on a church plant team.
A commitment to go is a commitment to also both Pray and Give in an even more sacrificial and abundant way.
I've already got an idea of some of the people who God is drawing to be a part of this team, and if they are any indication I cannot wait to see who else God is calling to serve Him by establishing this new church in Denver.
If God is pressing on your heart to partner in this, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the the website contact form.