News

CITY SIMILARITY

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…

Where East Meets West

Glances at a map of Paul’s early church planting efforts reveal churches that were established in what would become modern-day Turkey. Those early Christian communities have all but disappeared. Turkey is one of the least Christian countries in the world, with Christians making up .2% of the population. The number of Christians in the capital city of Istanbul hover around 5,000. Following Jesus can have dire consequences in the region sometimes due to religious hostilities, and more often because confessing Christ can estrange a person from their family and work communities. It is a challenging place to plant a new…

Lagos and Christianity

Nigeria has been called “the most religious country on earth.”  According to a recent BBC poll, 100% of the participants believe in God.  That astonishing statistic is easy to accept when you notice the large, hangar-like structures that dot the country: churches where worshippers come in the thousands.  Hundreds of thousands, even.  The largest has a membership of 2 million people. It might be easy to wonder, “Why plant a church in a city with this amount of religious observance?” While church attendance is high, the proliferation of prosperity gospel theology leaves many disillusioned with God and the church.  Author…

From NFL to Church Planting

The National Football League (NFL) is not a typical training ground for church planting. Yet Eddie Williams’ story is not a typical one. Eddie grew up in the bay area of San Francisco, California. His childhood was rootless, filled with constant upheaval and moves from one area to another. He learned to keep his prized belongings with him if he didn’t want to lose them. His dad was absent and the family home was vulnerable to robbery. Eddie’s mom, who provided strength and stability for the family, also battled cancer. She dreamed that Eddie would be an NFL player. Her…

2018 Lead Planter’s Retreat

Church planting is a glorious (and sometimes exhausting) calling.  Once a year, we gather many of our lead planting couples for a retreat in Miami.  It is a time to reconnect with each other, share what’s working, and discuss the issues that challenge us.  It is a great joy to serve these world-class leaders.  The work they are doing for God’s Kingdom is laudable. The 2018 lead planters share their stories with the group: The highlight of the week: Praying for the lead planters, a time of vulnerability and hope. A few of our future church planters:

Year in Review

21. Dec | TAGS:

Year in Review

Throughout the year, we’ve listened to and shared stories of individuals from our church plants.  Each person has a unique path to come back to God or a new openness to following Jesus.  From heartbreak to infertility, from discovering that success is illusory or needing a community where diversity is present, each story reveals that God is reaching out to people everywhere. We plant churches because new churches are one of the most effective ways to reach people with the good news of Jesus.  People Matter To God!  Check out the range of stories and be encouraged.

Meet Lauren & Robby from Renewal Church in Chicago

“Chicago is such a diverse city, but we went to so many churches where it was all white or all black. We loved seeing the mix of people at Renewal.” Two years ago, Lauren and Robby were dating and searching for a church where they both felt welcomed. Lauren heard about Renewal through mutual friends and visited. She brought Robby back the next week. “We’ve been here ever since!” Robby exclaimed. Robby and Lauren became a part of the community quickly. Robby admitted, “I don’t make friends easily. But at Renewal I make friends all the time.” The couple started…

Meet Xochitl from Mission Church

A move to a new city, grief over a miscarriage, and struggles with infertility and adoption left Xochitl feeling isolated and alone.  Frustrated dreams brought her to a dark place for months, where she felt discouraged and alone.  She struggled to get outside.  Xochitl decided that it would be good to go to church.  As she said, “Maybe getting to know some other people and getting involved would help.” She and her husband googled churches and visited a few.  But it was a Mission Church postcard, delivered several weeks late and to the wrong address, that got their attention.  Church…

On Christmas And The Urban – Rural Divide

From Luke Greer, Director of Partnership For me, part of the Christmas season means spending time reading the Bible’s nativity stories in Matthew and Luke. Although I’ve read them many times before, something “new” often captures my attention. This year when I read the angels’ declaration to the shepherds: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), I realized I hadn’t ever really noticed what’s always been there: the city of David.  The angels weren’t referring to the great city of Jerusalem, but instead to the quiet…

Isolate or Engage?

Isolate or engage?  This challenge confronts Christians who face the challenges of prevailing cultural norms that often run counter to a life centered on Jesus. This tension is not new. Jesus mentions being in but not of the world. Cities often appear to be places where unchecked secularism prevails, yet the idols of money, sex, and power are ultimately hollow. Cities are a good place for Christians to engage culture: God sends Jonah to Ninevah. Paul travels to Athens and to Rome. Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. God does not give up on the people in those cities, nor…