News

LEGAL PITFALLS TO AVOID

“THERE ARE TWO THINGS IN LIFE YOU CAN’T AVOID…” As a church planter or church leader, there are some things we don’t like to think about but, in the end, cannot avoid. I can’t give official legal advice in this forum, but I can point out things that I’ve seen that, just like death and taxes, must be planned for and expected: 1) UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHURCH COULD GET SUED . . . AT ANY TIME It is a bad day when a summons is served. Yet in reality, anyone can sue for any reason. They may not prevail, but they…

FINDING A FACILITY

From Brent Storms, President and CEO One of the biggest challenges of starting a church in a center city or urban context is finding the right facility for Sunday gatherings. Space is limited. Landlords are skeptical. Prices are (often) outrageous. One example of the challenges: a few years ago, hotly contested lawsuits bounced from court to court regarding whether or not churches should be allowed to rent New York City public schools for religious services. Some churches met in public schools and then moved out and then back in again as a result. Orchard Group is focused on planting churches…

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR CHURCH PLANTERS

By Brent Storms, President and CEO I’ve been hanging around church planters for twenty years. I planted a church fifteen years ago, and since then I’ve interviewed, assessed, trained, coached or managed hundreds of church planters. They are among the brightest, most gifted, most entrepreneurial leaders in the kingdom. They also make mistakes. Lots of them. Sometimes these errors lead to surprisingly positive outcomes; others result in painful long-term consequences. We’d like to help church planters avoid common mistakes, so here are five things I’ve learned during the last two decades: RAISE MORE MONEY THAN YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED Church…

VALUES THAT SHAPE CULTURE

By Mike Hickerson When we started Mission, I would love to tell you we knew exactly what we were doing…we didn’t. I would love to tell you we had values and strategy clearly marked out…we didn’t. I would love to tell you we knew what it was going to look like in three years…we didn’t. I would love to tell you we knew how hard it was going to be, how much fun it was going to be, how we couldn’t imagine missing this…we didn’t. What we didn’t know in the beginning seemed to significantly outweigh what we did, and…

THE FUTURE CHURCH

By Nick Parsons, Director of Recruitment “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially if it’s about the future.” – Mark Twain The 1989 film, Back to the Future II, made some incredible predictions about what the year 2015 would look like. It correctly foretold flat screen televisions, video conferencing, biometric identification and even the presence of aerial drones – although they don’t walk our dogs – yet! Unfortunately, we don’t have the flying cars, self-lacing shoes, or hoverboards the film anticipated, but we do have things like cell phones, 3-D printers, and fully battery powered cars. Let’s face it, predicting the…

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…

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:

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…

Expanding The Impact

From Brent Storms, President and CEO As we find ourselves between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m feeling both a deep sense of gratitude and a great anticipation of what is to come. I’m grateful for the ways God has allowed our ministry to reach tens of thousands of people with the gospel. I’m also excited about the opportunity to continue expanding the impact. What we have witnessed in New York City in the past three years is remarkable! Three years ago Renaissance Church was launched in Harlem under the leadership of Jordan and Jessica Rice. Today they are reaching nearly 400…

Meet The Mercados

THE WILMINGTON INITIATIVE Marcos and Amarillis Mercado have a vision to see a new church emerge in the heart of Wilmington, the largest city in the state of Delaware. The Mercados bring a wealth of ministry experience having served in Northeast cities including New York City and Philadelphia for twenty years. Because they are bi-lingual, the Mercados have impacted thousands of people in both English and Spanish. A new church in Wilmington is a great opportunity for the Gospel. 53% of the population claims no religious affiliation of any kind. Wilmington is also an ethnically diverse city. The population is…