News

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 leaders for 2017 & 2018:

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…

Launch Sunday- The Gathering in Harlem

It’s just the beginning for The Gathering in Harlem.  Their launch Sunday was filled with energy and excitement with over 260 people.  Lead pastor Kenneth Hart preached powerfully from Luke 5 on being a “church for the unchurched.”   Jesus was proclaimed and at least one person made a personal decision to follow him!  Thank you to everyone who has donated to and prayed for this project.  Thank you to the churches who are sending volunteers and teams to support. We can’t wait to see what God will do in Harlem through this new church. Get a glimpse of Launch…

Redemption Church

Planting churches is exciting work. Seeing those churches grow into thriving, fruitful communities is rewarding beyond measure! A recent visit to Redemption Church in the heart of San Francisco revealed a community of people committed to God, each other, and living out the gospel in their city.  One attendee commented, “The gospel is what kept me coming back. No matter what the sermon is, Christ is the centerpiece.”  Redemption brings to mind the words of the apostle John, when he wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.” Watching Redemption launch, grow,…

2017 Venture – Church Planting Update

 Wondering what we’re up to this year? Here’s a good place to find out:

Leaving a Trace

July 16, will be a celebratory day for Trace Church in Colorado Springs, CO. It will be the first Sunday in their new worship space. Over the summer, Trace volunteers have donated time and money (over $50,000!) to renovate a new building that will position the church to better reach and love the people of their city. This generosity is remarkable because Trace Church is less than one year old! Trace launched in September of 2016 under the leadership of Aaron and Emily Pennington. Aaron is originally from Kentucky, where he practiced as a fitness professional and was part owner…

Five Factors To Selecting A Church Planting 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: hotly contested lawsuits have 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 have been in public schools and then out and now back in again as a result. Orchard Group is focused on planting churches in New York…

Post- Easter Roundup!

23, 552 That’s the number of people who attended on Easter Sunday at a church started in the last twenty years with the help of Orchard Group. Among that number are individual stories of people who have heard the good news of Jesus for the first time, people who have found a family they can belong to, stories of renewal and second chances, stories of working in God’s Kingdom. 734 That’s the number of those people who were baptized last year! Several churches, including Collective Church (pictured below) celebrated baptisms on Easter Sunday.  What a perfect way to visually represent the new life…