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Summer Fun And Youth Opportunities

One of the beautiful pictures in the Gospels is of little children hovering around Jesus. Perhaps they were begging, “Just one more, Jesus! Throw the ball one more time! Tell one more story!” insistent in the way only small children can be. Of course the disciples are nearby, because there were important things to do. Deadlines to meet, people to see, speeches to give. Yet Jesus knew the importance of including children in God’s Kingdom. The future rests with them. It is encouraging to see new churches being intentional about the health and development of youth. Throughout the summer, churches…

What if Christians were known for throwing great parties- no strings attached?  That has become the DNA of Mission Church.  They have gained a reputation for loving people with openness and grace.  Each summer, they host several Free Friday Flicks in a local park with movies, face painting, snacks- and no sermon at the end.  Mission also regularly hosts A Night To Remember, a dance for special needs youth and their families.  This night has become a city-wide event. In the gospels, we often find Jesus at a wedding or dinner party.  He often mentions celebrations in his stories.  What if…

Kyle Costello, lead planter of Missio Dei Community in Salt Lake City, has a unique challenge and opportunity by starting a church in a city with a very young demographic. Many people are new to the city, which means that the church members have become family to each other over the years. photos from Missio Dei: For over 60 years, Orchard Group has been launching churches in cities. The Global Cities Initiative continues this important work, and you can help. Not only are you starting other churches like Missio Dei Community, you’re starting churches in influential cities that are committed to planting other…

Scott Ancarrow faced an early challenge when he led a church plant in Baltimore- finding the right facility. Where a new church meets, especially in city centers, dramatically affects who is able to come, and whether or not new people will be able to find it! Fortunately, Foundry Church was able to secure a great location downtown (with harbor views even!) where they will be able to grow into the future.  We were glad to play a part in helping Foundry get started. photos from Foundry: For over 60 years, Orchard Group has been launching churches in places like Baltimore. The…

The story of every church plant is also the story of partnering churches.  New churches get their start with the prayer, personnel and financial support of other churches! Lorenzo Smith of Collective Church in West LA shares of how that support is encouraging to a new church.  Collective Church is one year old. Lorenzo has shared online about how moving it is to be on the receiving end of generosity of churches like The Hills Church in Texas. I guess I was just overwhelmed by a convergence of thoughts and realizations in that moment. As I looked around that room, I…

Derrick Puckett recognized that many times people won’t come to church, even if they are spiritually seeking.  So Renewal Church in Chicago makes a habit of getting outside the walls of church- whether that’s playing basketball or going to neighborhood celebrations! As a side note, Derrick says, “A lot of people think they can play ball…”  The team at Renewal can play ball- they’ve won their league championship two years in a row! After 5 months of Chicago cold, Renewal Church eagerly anticipates summertime through “Renewal Summer” fellowship events. Throughout the summer, members open their homes each week for Taste of Tuesdays…

Over a period of years, Jordan Rice became increasingly convicted about the need for spiritual growth and change in Harlem.  He left behind his law career to study theology and entered a training program for church planting.  A year and a half ago, he led the launch of Renaissance Church in Harlem, NYC.  The church is now a thriving faith community! We’re thrilled that Jordan is a part of the Orchard Group family. photos from Renaissance Church’s launch Sunday: For over 60 years, Orchard Group has been launching churches in places like Harlem. The Global Cities Initiative continues this important work,…

Get Back To Me In 20

You might not know why you’re doing what you’re doing now for another twenty years. Sorry. It’s true. Twenty years ago this month, my wife and I packed up our meager belongings and moved from Missouri to Massachusetts. We both grew up in middle America. The transition would call for cultural agility that neither of us had adequately considered. We were naïve, but adventurous and eager. The reason for the move was simple: I was beginning graduate school at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. God quickly opened our eyes to the need for new churches in the Northeast and Orchard Group gave…

Louis & Yolandi Scheepers, both South Africans, will lead a new church in Cape Town this year. Get a glimpse of the calling God has placed on their hearts to unite people in Jesus.  The book of Acts informs us that Jesus united people from all backgrounds to come together to form His church.  May that also happen in South Africa! Start this new church in Cape Town The Cape Town Project is part of Orchard Group’s Global Cities Initiative. With your help, we are planting 10 new churches in 10 global cities over the next 5 years. And you can help…

CITY SIMILARITIES

From Luke Greer As I stepped from the platform into the car, the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of the subway assaulted my senses: a suit-wearing executive barked orders on his iPhone before losing coverage, teens sporting Yankees caps and loosely-laced Nikes slap-knuckled one another in greeting, a beggar entered from an adjacent car jingling his donation cup, most folks read books and screens strategically avoiding eye contact, and white earbuds blasted loud enough for all of us to sing along to Coldplay. This wasn’t New York City. This was a typical ride on the subway in Mexico City. It…