Hurricane Response – “We Are Better Together”

Better TogetherBetter Together

One of the most encouraging things I’ve seen over the past several days is the churches in our city working together to meet needs and love on people.

Here are a few of the amazing things I’ve seen:

  • In my city of Pearland the churches have procured a 200,000 sq ft warehouse to be a centralized hub for food, water, toiletry, and cleaning supply donation.  We’ve had an amazing pallet business in Florida donate 26 pallets stocked with food, water, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.  Many other churches have made similar donations.
  • Churches are working together to help the community with ZERO thought to who is getting the credit.  This is most easily seen as teams go house to house ripping out carpet and drywall.  If one church’s list is full then they ask another church to grab it and… THEY DO.
  • Our church meets in a school.  The schools are closed until at least Tuesday.  That would mean that we wouldn’t have a place to meet for two a second week in a row.  This could be very difficult for our young church both spiritually and financially.  A local church opened it’s doors to us meeting there this Sunday morning.
  • CityView Church got to buy supplies for several distribution centers that were in need of cleaning supplies and gift cards for gas and groceries.

We really are better together.  This is a wonderful picture of the gospel that we are seeing ministered in both deed and WORD.  Jesus is being made much of as people are seeing the church serving the devastated.

 

Keep Giving

The needs are great.  By the grace of God they are being met.  There is still a lot more to do though.  As we’ve been told many times recovery is a marathon and not a sprint.  Multiple groups are on the ground working.  Give towards those groups that are local and going to be there for the long haul, after the television cameras are gone.

Donate to CityView Church Disaster Relief

Donate to Southern Baptist of Texas Disaster Relief

 

Hurricane Harvey – “Survived to Serve”

survived to serve

“You Survived to Serve”

I have felt survivor guilt.  I’m finding that many people who have gone through Hurricane Harvey are feeling this.

GRATEFUL

On one hand I am so grateful, so thankful that we stayed dry, safe, and powered throughout the entirety of Harvey’s onslaught on Houston.  We are doing well on a personal and church level.  None of our members had any truly significant damage and all of our equipment was untouched by the flooding (this was a concern for us as we are a portable church and most of our equipment is located in a trailer parked in a significantly flooded area).

ACHING

On the other hand I hurt and ache for those who lost everything or will soon due to coming drainage floods (Worst Flooding Is In Front Of Us).  I see video of people being rescued.  Then there are the pictures of homes still underwater.  I watch stories on the news of families trying to escape the flooding waters still.  I read news articles of mandatory evacuations being ordered even last night.  And then the growing count of those who have lost their lives.

 

I feel guilty.  So guilty.  I’ve prayed and prayed.  The message I feel deep in my spirit and to the depth of my bones is this:

 

“YOU SURVIVED TO SERVE”

 

This has been the gist of my message to our church and those who have been personally unscathed by the the storm.  We have survived this IMMENSE devastation to serve others.  If we are still standing it is not because of our strong planning or excellent preparation, but by the grace of God.  We are here to demonstrate our Savior’s love.  We are here to serve others.

These words of Jesus have been ringing in my heart over these past few days:

[14] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. [16] In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

 

Do good!  Serve others, not for your own fame, but for the good of people and ultimately for the glory of God.

I am thankful for a church that is doing this.  They have been serving from the moment they were able to get out of their homes.  They haven’t stopped.

Our church won’t stop.  This city is our home and we are in this thing for the long haul.  If you’d like to help us help our community YOU CAN DONATE HERE.  Every dollar is 100% tax deductible and is used to help victims of this catastrophe.

I’m also thankful for our denomination (Southern Baptist) that puts a priority on disaster relief.  Both state and national levels are on the ground already.  They are serving meals, organizing clean up crews, providing showers, and ministering the gospel to those who have lost so much.  If you’d like to donate to them you can do so here: Southern Baptist of Texas Disaster Relief.

 

Remember, we have survived to serve.  You can’t serve everyone, but everyone can serve someone.

 

Hurricane Harvey – “The Storm Is Gone!”

Storm Over

The Storm Is Over!

First, we are so thankful that the rain has stopped!  Harvey moved!  The Lord heard and answered prayer and moved the storm away from us.  Houstonians are so thankful.  Yesterday I wrote a post – “Can We See The Sun?”  The answer is YES! I am not ashamed to say that I teared up taking this picture.  We haven’t seen a sunrise in a while.

CityView Serves!

I am so proud of our church and what we’ve been able to do in the middle of the storm.

  • We sent 15 truck loads of supplies to area shelters.
  • We’ve provided meals for hundreds.
  • Purchased and delivered medicine to area shelters.
  • Nursed at area shelters.
  • Provided pastoral counseling for many at shelters.
  • Purchased and delivered immediately necessary supplies such as food, water, diapers, feminine hygiene products, and more.
  • Purchased and delivered socks and underwear to our first responders who have been on 24 hour duty for days.

 

 

This is made possible by so many donating to our church plant.  As of this morning we’ve raised $7450 and 100% of that will go to help with disaster relief.  We are a church on the ground caring for Pearland, Friendswood, and our surrounding area.  If you are looking for a way to donate to a local organization that is working hard in the city then help us help our area.

YOU CAN DONATE TO CITYVIEW DISASTER RELIEF HERE

 

Here are other groups we are PROUD to partner with:

 

Recovery Time

We bask in the sunlight and are thankful for the storm to move, but now recovery starts.  This is a process that will last not for days, weeks, or months.  This process is going to take years.  Here is what we’re going to have to recover from:

57 Inches of rain fell in one spot in Pearland… 57 Inches!  Rain fell everywhere.  This is the largest flooding disaster in the history of the United States.

The amount of rain that fell just in Houston would:

  • Fill The Great Salt Lake in Utah… TWICE
  • Fill The Empire State Building 33,906 times
  • Cover the entire lower 48 states with .17″ of rain.
Lots of numbers are out there, they vary, but even the most conservative are unbelievable.  Here is a picture of what we’re dealing with – Houston Rain Fall By The Numbers

Material Needs

 

Here are things that we are going to need in upcoming days

  • Shop vacs (wet)
  • 5 Gallon Buckets
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Shovels
  • Tarps
  • Push brooms
  • Mops
  • Fans
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby and Kids Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Contact Solution

If you are looking for ways to help then start collecting these things and in days/weeks/months ahead start bringing them down and help with disaster relief.

Our Prayer

These are verses I found last night and have been thinking about this morning.

[25] From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

[26] The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever!

[27] All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.

Psalm 22:25-27

We are praying that the afflicted will literally eat and be satisfied and that the whole earth will remember and turn to the Lord.  Pray with us.

Hurricane Harvey in Houston – “Can We See The Sun?”

Can we see the sun?

 

This morning my youngest son came downstairs, sat in my lap, and asked, “dad, can we PLEASE see the sun today?”

I didn’t realize until then how long it had been since we had seen the sun.  We are going on our fifth day of Hurricane Harvey.  There has been A LOT of rain, 9 trillion gallons as of yesterday morning, and it rained ALL day and night again.  The flooding is unbelievable.

There have been mandatory evacuations throughout Houston.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.  Yesterday one of our church members tried for several hours to get his parents to his house, they had been evacuated from their home.  This is normally 15 minute trip… and we are in a good, relatively dry area.  I say relatively because there aren’t really any dry places.

One of our church’s founding families had to be rescued from their home yesterday.  That’s them on the boat being rescued from their home.  They are safe with their sweet baby.  We are praying their home stays safe as well.

 

GOOD NEWS

It looks like we will have to endure another full day of rain, heavy rain with all the flooding that it produces.

The good news is that the storm appears to be moving away from Houston.  It is pushing East.  Sometime today we should be on the “clean” side of the storm.

 

BETTER NEWS

The better news is that people from all over are helping each other.  It is inspiring to see people care for one another in the midst of devastation.  Seeing believers in Jesus take the lead in these instances is deeply encouraging.  I’m so thankful the people at CityView have been at the center of this in our community.  We’ve rallied truckloads of material donations to shelters, nursing mothers, and help with immediate home repairs.  Due to the generosity of many outside of Houston we have been able to purchase much needed supplies and go help those in need.  YOU CAN CONTINUE TO DONATE HERE.  (100% of donations go to disaster relief here in Houston.)

 

BEST NEWS

The best news is that the Lord has been faithful to us in the middle of all of this.  All day these verses were running through my head.

[1] Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;

[2] from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,

[3] for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. (Psalm 61:1-3)

Everyone in Houston feels faint.  We are physically tired, mentally drained, and emotionally exhausted.  We are truly faint and we are looking for higher ground.  We’re looking for a rock that is higher than we are (both literally and figuratively).  The good news is there is One.  He is a refuge and strong tower.  He brings encouragement to discouraged hearts.  He never leaves and He never forsakes.  He is with us.

 

The physical sun will come out soon, but the eternal Son has never been hidden.

Keep praying.

Keep helping.

Keep giving.

HOUSTON FLOODING UPDATE – “Long Way To Go”

A LONG WAY TO GO

A LONG WAY TO GO

The rain has been nonstop in Houston for the last several days.  There has been a lot of flooding.  9 Trillion Gallons of Rain have fallen.  There has been a lot of hurt and need.  There have been a lot of rescues.  Highways are rivers.  There will be at least 30,000 people in shelters by the end of the day.  Rivers are rising and cresting in the next day or two.  This will cause more problems in days ahead.

The rain hasn’t stopped

Neither has the support

I’m happy to say the support from outside of Houston hasn’t stopped either.  We are so thankful.  Please realize this is an historic event and there has NEVER been anything like it before in Houston.  There is no way to have known it would look like this.  There has been some finger pointing at those who stayed, government officials, etc.  THIS IS NOT HELPFUL.  We are trying to concentrate on helping those who are hurt and displaced.  There are THOUSANDS displaced who have lost everything.  Let this be our focus.  Think about helping.  Think about giving.  Keep praying.

 

Last night we were able to deliver some supplies and food to two different shelters.  One shelter we attempted to help is only accessible by boat!  We need to continue to get supplies to these places.  We did get into one shelter with 200ish people.

Those places need food, water, diapers, baby formula, toiletries, etc.  The easiest way for us to get this stuff to them is to purchase.  CityView is committed to helping our area recover.  PLEASE DONATE SO WE CAN HELP.

Also please consider giving to Disaster Relief that will be going on throughout Houston.  The SBTC Disaster Relief team is already here and serving in the name of Jesus.  YOU CAN DONATE TO SBTC DISASTER RELIEVE HERE. 

 

Our God Hasn’t Stopped

Last night my wife and I prayed until our eyes couldn’t stay open.  We asked for the storm to move.  We asked for the storm to break up.  We asked for God to open hearts of people to serve those who are hurting and displaced.  We prayed that God would get glory from the way His people trust Him and serve others.  Please join us in this prayer.  

We went to sleep praying this verse.

8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8

 

We woke up thanking God with these verses.

6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” 
7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. – Psalm 4.6-7

 

He moved the harsh bands of Harvey North some and we had good relief.

God is faithful.

God is good.

Keep praying. We’ve got a long way to go.

Houston Is Flooded! “What Can We Do?”

WHAT CAN WE DO?

I’ve been asked at least a hundred times by people outside of Houston, “what can we do?”  My response is PRAY for the rain to stop.  Pray for our drainage systems to get a chance to work.  Pray for those displaced.  Pray for the poor.  We are so thankful for all of the prayer.  Right now (and always) that is really the most you can do.

I can guarantee you that this is not sensationalized on the news.  

Houston is in the middle of a sensational disaster.

The Houston MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) is home to almost 6.8 million people.  EVERYONE IN THIS AREA IS EFFECTED BY THE FLOODING.  Not everyone is flooded, but everyone is effected.  If you are wondering what you can do right now (aside from pray) for the Houston area here are a few suggestions. We will likely reach 50 inches of rain in a 24 hour period.

1) Give

  • CityView Church (our church in Pearland) is accepting donations to help with issues in Pearland, Manvel, and Alvin. We stand ready to help our community.  I expect our funds designated for this to be fully utilized quickly.  Any help is fully tax deductible.   DONATE TO CITYVIEW HERE.  Select **Disaster Relief
  • Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is on the ground already in some areas.  The SBC does a great job getting into areas to help.  DONATE TO THE SBTC DISASTER RELIEF HERE.
  • Red Cross.  The entire Texas Gulf Coast has been devastated.  The Red Cross is an organization that will be all over the area.  DONATE TO THE RED CROSS HERE.

2) Mobilize

We are going to need hands.  Consider coming to Houston once the storms pass and the water starts to recede.  Mobilize your churches and volunteer groups to get here to help.

3) Keep Praying!  We’ll take every bit that we can

Pray for Houston – “For The First Time Ever”

Pray

“For the first time ever”

That’s not a meaningless phrase.  That’s the phrase being used by the National Weather Service to describe our Flash Flood Emergency here in Houston.  There have been more than 1000 water rescues over night.  As of this morning there have been 5 people die due to flooding.  There have been between 20-30 inches of rain fall overnight.  Flooding is rampant and the rain from Hurricane Harvey keeps coming.  People in the 500 year floodplain are getting dangerously close to flooding.  Please pray for Houston.

Here is some Scripture I’ve been praying this morning:

28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. 
31 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! – Psalm 107:28-31

We love this city.  Here are some specifics to pray for:

  • Pray for the path of Hurricane Harvey to move.
  • Pray for the rain to stop so we can drain.
  • Pray for first responders, doctors, and nurses as they minister.
  • Pray for the poor in our area.  Most are sheltered, but there is much to deal with after this.
  • Pray for the city and surrounding areas.

Our church, CityView Church, is taking donations to help deal with immediate issues in our area.

You can donate here.

 

Before Attacking Problems: Pray – 3 Reasons Among Many

Pray First

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I wrote earlier this week on my Productive GRACE system.

  1. Get serious about the vision
  2. Required resources
  3. Author a plan
  4. Consistently execute the plan
  5. Effectively adapt to changes

This is the way that I attack problems in everyday life.  The system is scalable and works for long term goals and short term goals alike.  I’m following it up with a few posts that dive in more specifically.  However, there is a pre-step.  The pre-step is prayer.  Pray First!  Prayer is a great gift that believers in Jesus don’t fall on enough.  It almost seems silly to write a list of reasons why we should pray about problems, but I think sometimes we all need reminders and at the very least I need the reminder (and this is my blog).

3 Reasons to Pray First

 

1) We are commanded to pray

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4.6)

When we are anxious, which is what I am when a problem arises, we are told to pray.  I’ve often heard this verse summarized in this way, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything”.  Pray about the thing that is on your mind and heart.  A loving father wants to hear from his children and specifically about those things that are making their hearts worry.  Pray.

2) Prayer brings peace

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Talking to my loving Father who also is the Sovereign God of all creation brings peace.  This peace goes beyond our mental capacities to understand, but it is truly there.  The next time you are anxious about some problem or goal, pray about it.

3) Prayer puts things in perspective

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

When we pray about our anxious moments we are reminded that there is something greater than our worries or goals.  There is God’s Kingdom.  Those goals and worries shouldn’t be our first priority.  God’s Kingdom coming is the thing that matters most.  We need to capture perspective.

 

Next we’ll deal with what to do when there are problems.  However, before we talk about attacking problems why don’t you spend some significant time praying about those problems.  Let me point you to Philippians 4:4-7 and Matthew 6:25-34 for some further reading and study.

Productive Grace: 5 Steps To Attack Any Problem

Productive Grace

The grace that saves us also sanctifies us.  That grace also makes us productive.  Remember 1 Corinthians 15:10:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

Over the next several blog posts, I’m going to share my scalable system to frame up and attack any problem.  It is just as applicable to long range, multi-year goals as it is to attacking daily scheduling issues.

 

The Origin of My System

I became a Christian when I was 16, a week before my 17th birthday. I started a bible study at my high school. Through that I felt called into ministry.  I told my parents, they told me they disagreed. The next year, my senior year, we started the bible study again and saw 30 people cross the line of faith and connect to a church. I talked to my parents again about going to pursue a bible degree and they relented.  They said I had to go to Bob Jones University. I didn’t know anything about the school, but was just excited to go.

When I showed up on campus for freshman orientation I was given a student handbook, no big deal. Every place has rules. Then I got the dorm handbook.  I thought sure there are extra rules it’s a Christian school. Then I got a society handbook, then we got a sports handbook then we got a chapel rules sheet then another rule book for student government.

Then I learned that I was accountable for all the rules before classes started. That’s when demerits would start. I asked what demerits were. They explained the what happened.

  • 75 Demerits = Socialed.  Essentially, no contact with the opposite sex on campus.
  • 100 Demerits = Campused.  Students at this level weren’t allowed off campus except for church or approved ministry.
  • 150 Demerits = Expelled.  If you got to 150 demerits in a semester you were out.

 

Time to Get Serious

That’s when I got serious. I needed to get out, but needed the degree.  I figured my shelf life there may be 4 years but more likely I’d blow up by then. So one Friday night I sold out to the idea: I must graduate in 3 years. I sat down with the course books, an outdated idea today, and started looking and working.  I went through multiple iterations, but by bed time (yes that was a real thing) I’d worked it out.

I started in the fall of 1999 and in June of 2002 I graduated with a BA in Bible na double minor in Counseling and Computer Science without any debt. How?  I learned the importance of envisioning a goal and attacking it.  Since then I’ve developed a way to attack any problem.

 

The Productive GRACE system for problem solving and planning

The grace that saves us also sanctifies us.  That grace also makes us productive.  Remember 1 Corinthians 15:10:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

1) Get serious about the vision

  • Ask: What is the preferred reality?
  • Write out what it looks like.

2) Required resources 

  • Ask: What resources do I need to accomplish this vision.
  • Assemble the named resources.

3) Author a plan

  • Ask: What does this look like specifically.
  • Write down a specific plan.

4) Consistently execute the plan

  • Ask: What do I need to DO right now to make this plan move forward?
  • Keep asking this question repetitively.

5) Effectively adapt to changes

  • Ask: What are the changes that are taking place that could change my plan?
  • Things happen.  Change is going to be necessary along the way.

 

Over the next few posts I’m going to break down each of these pieces to look long range and also short term.  Check it out frequently.

Clarifying Some Criticism

My Response to the Review of Proliferate by 9Marks

 

9Marks

On June 20, 2017 my book, Proliferate, was reviewed by 9Marks in their journal on church planting.  You can read the review here.  I was honored to be reviewed by a ministry I hold in such high esteem.  I have frequently leaned on 9Marks as a source of God-honoring and gospel-focused resources.  Though I was grateful for the kind words they offered, I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to what I thought were some unfounded criticisms.

The thing with 9Marks is that sometimes they aren’t always the most practically-minded folks, which they admit freely. Ed Stetzer wrote a piece about it in the same journal, What 9Marks Purists Should Know About Church Planting.  It’s a great piece, and shows that 9Marks is aware of a few of their blindspots.

My response to John Joseph of 9Marks

The Background of Proliferate

 

The bulk of this book is a more reader-friendly version of the Doctor of Ministry Project that I presented at Southern Seminary in May of last year.  In that project, I shared our plan to multiply as a young church, and we were able to do so and do so effectively.  We were blessed to see God do amazing things through our small church plant as we multiplied by God’s leadership and for His glory. I was encouraged by professors and other ministry leaders to share both our story, and the practical steps we took to multiply effectively in a more reader-friendly, less academic piece.

The thought was that small churches needed to be involved in church multiplication. As many have observed, one of the reasons that churches die is because they are inwardly-focused. My prayer was to “awaken a mighty force in this world of churches that feel like they are irrelevant. And that maybe through the Holy Spirit’s help this book might encourage many Everyday Church pastors and leaders to equip their churches to proclaim the gospel through church planting and multiplication.”

 

The plan is for this book to be used as a practical piece for conventions, networks, and associations to encourage the small churches in their care to engage in church multiplication.  Emphasis on “practical.” It was not intended to be a theological treatise, but to address an  audience of network and denominational leaders, and small-church pastors and planters, and encourage them to find a way to be involved in the important work of church multiplication.

 

1)  Critique One: My Aim Wasn’t Met

In terms of the first critique offered — I will leave it to each reader of my book to decide for themselves whether my aim was satisfactorily accomplished.

2) Critique Two: Questionable Handling of Scripture

I do take strong issue with the second critique. I pointed this subject out earlier in chapter 3. At the end of the chapter I said,

“As all good, theologically conservative Bible interpreters will tell you, we shouldn’t build doctrine from Acts, much less from three verses. We can learn principles, however, that will help as we look to multiply our churches and efforts. These are key verses in the growth of the church, and they serve as the foundation for much of modern-day church planting.”(Kindle Location: 803)

Additionally, I wrote that my point wasn’t to encourage people to teach and preach the word faithfully, mentioning that as a brief aside in a more stream-of-consciousness moment. The main idea there was that they were using their gifts.

“The leaders that were mentioned are leaders with communication gifts. The leaders at Antioch possessed the gift of prophecy and the gift of teaching. They called out sin, taught the Scriptures, and called people to greater love for the gospel. They were seeing disciples made and multiplied.  These faithful prophets and teachers tilled the soil so that it was fertile so church multiplication sprouted.”  (Kindle Location: 1374)

I was not making an argument in this particular case to be faithful to the Word. My argument was that they were using their gifts, and in the faithful use of their gifts the soil for multiplication was readied.

3) Critique Three: Crandall’s Assumption

The final critique I believe to be a potential misunderstanding or perhaps a misreading. Mr. Joseph says, “Crandall clearly believes Everyday Churches can and should multiply rapidly.” However, I make the point repeatedly that not every church should multiply, but that every church should be involved in the work of multiplication. I said this clearly throughout the book. Here are a few examples:

“In this book I make the argument that all churches should be involved in church multiplication in some manner. This isn’t to say that all churches should be involved in multiplication in the same way, but they all need to be involved in the proliferation of gospel-centered churches both nationally and internationally.” (Kindle Location: 184)

“This book has a simple premise: every church, regardless of size, can be significant in the cause of gospel proclamation through church planting. Every church, regardless of size, should be involved in church proliferation. Let me be clear, not every church should be engaged in church proliferation in the same way, but every church needs to find its role in this effort.” (Kindle Location: 362)

“We all need to think about church multiplication but this doesn’t mean we multiply in the exact same ways. Some churches will be sending out plants consistently, year after year. Some churches should release (and fund) a young leader to plant a church in an area that is relatively nearby. Some churches should take serious percentages of their budget and use them toward multiplication rather than random building improvements. Some churches should do all of those things. Some churches should open their buildings up to different ethno-linguistic church plants. Some churches should consider closing their doors to give the keys of God’s property to a church moving forward and growing and seeking to plant more churches for the glory of God.” (Kindle Location: 794)

“The key to capturing your church’s vision for participating in multiplication is bound up in your particular church culture.” (Kindle Location: 1253)

“Not all churches are going to have a “going to the moon” vision for church planting, and that’s okay. If a church will do the hard work of assessing its culture and context though, then they are well on the way to capturing a vision for how they can be involved in church multiplication. Churches will begin to see what they are great at and where their weaknesses lie. They will begin to see the situation that they are in and what they can do about it. Thus, churches will have a clearer picture of what they can pass on to other churches that they aid in planting.”(Kindle Location: 1329)

 

I also disagree with the analogy that Mr. Joseph drew in the final paragraph of his weaknesses section in terms of a church being a body.  Young believers are considered babes, but I don’t see a local church ever called a baby church in scripture.  Our launch team for our pregnant church was made up of maturing believers who felt called to plant a disciple-making work in a new location.  The sending church, CityView Church Pearland, had elders at the helm making the decisions as we sent off the mission church.  We certainly still had our issues as a young church and we were not fully formed yet, but even then his analogy falters.  Further, the Antioch Church had not been formed for very long before they sent missionaries to plant churches and they only had Paul for a very short period of time before they sent off Paul and Barnabas (commentators vary in the amount of time before Acts 13’s sending event, between 12-24 months though is the typical agreed upon timeframe).

 

I never argue in the book that anyone else should plant pregnant.  Could other church plants find themselves in a situation where it might be possible? Yes. However, the book is not a mandate saying that all other church plants should do it.  That was something we as a church plant were convicted over, not something we have ever told other church plants they needed to be convicted of.  We have a vision for our church to plant 100 churches in 25 years.  This isn’t from our church specifically, but includes the churches that we plant.  We hope to have a movement of churches that are planting other churches.

If you’d like to read my book, Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches and see for yourself what you think you can get it at  Amazon (Paperback or Kindle) or Barnes & Noble (Paperback or Nook).