Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ARC Church Planting Roundtable

Thought I would let you know how the ARC Church Planters Roundtable went last week. Here are some reflections...
  • Colorado Springs is beautiful, even in the rain.
  • New Life Church is pretty awesome - great place for the roundtable.
  • Met Ross Parsley and Brady Boyd, New Life's new senior pastor. Boyd will be a great spiritual leader for the New Life family.
  • Met about 50 people who have a true passion for church planting.
  • Billy Hornsby introduced ARC as an organization dedicated to planting churches that look like Jesus - churches through which people can "encounter Jesus." No joke! Billy used the word "encounter" a number of times. Churches need to reflect the personality and attributes of Jesus - Did Billy read our Encounter Prospectus??!!!
  • I really resonate with ARC's passion — to plant life-giving churches.
  • Billy shared eight characteristics of life-giving churches:
  1. Empowering Leadership - Leadership empowers believers to follow God's plan.
  2. Gift-Oriented Ministry - Help believers identify and integrate their gifts.
  3. Passionate Spirituality - Faith lived out with commitment, fire, and enthusiasm.
  4. Functional Structures - Structures must help fulfill the purpose of the church. Cut the fluff.
  5. Inspiring Worship - Excellent worship that inspires people.
  6. Holistic Small Groups - Encourage groups where people can find intimate community, practical help, and intensive spiritual interaction.
  7. Need-oriented Evangelism - Address the questions and concerns of non-Christians.
  8. Loving Relationships - Form strong and genuine trust relationships.
I feel challenged by our next steps with ARC. A lot more was shared at the roundtable, including all the different ways they help and come alongside church planters. If you want to know more, just contact us and we'll talk. But here are the basic facts:
  1. To continue, we must submit an application - if approved, we must attend a church planter assessment in Atlanta, Georgia. The cost of the assessment is small, but the travel expenses will be difficult. I estimate it will cost nearly $2,100 to travel and stay there for the assessment. Of course, it could be cheaper if we could stay with someone, find some transportation there, or receive a donation of frequent flier miles.
  2. We must also secure a "sponsor" church to come alongside us. This sponsor church must believe in our vision enough to vouch for us financially. That means that although ARC will match all the funds we raise dollar-for-dollar (up to $30,000) - if the church plant falls through, the "sponsor" church will repay ARC for all funds provided.
We would like to pursue this partnership with ARC, but we're going to need some help. For now, we're praying for God's direction and working in this situation. If God is moving you to help with any of this, please let us know.