“Are we still doing community group over the holidays?” I get asked this question every year in mid-December, and it demonstrates two realities. Here’s a glimpse into the realities, some principles to navigate them, and 15 ideas for your time.
So what does it look like for an evangelical, Reformed, church-planting church to be appropriately Pentecostal today? How can we embrace the power of God for our lives, relationships, ministries, and churches? How can we become pentecostal (small “p,” not the capital “P” denomination and subculture) without giving up an inch of our liturgical, Reformed tradition?
When you hear the word “Pentecost,” what comes into your mind? The majority of us, I’m guessing, think of “Pentecostalism,” the denomination that emphasizes speaking in tongues and prophesying. At the seminary I attended, “Pentecostal” is a general term you could call somebody who gets a little carried away with the Spirit, isn’t quite gospel-centered enough, or gets less than a B- in elementary Greek. So we need to recapture this word.
Consider the area where your church is located. The faithful, the unreached people groups, the brokenness, the flourishing…all of it. As you evaluate your geographic region – the area God has called your church to serve – what would it take to see the knowledge of the glory of the Lord fill your geography to achieve gospel saturation?
Sojourn Network is a family of pastors and churches partnering together through a beautiful gospel to see healthy pastors planting, growing, and multiplying healthy churches that last. Our family of churches spans the width and breadth of the United States — from Hawaii to New York, Washington to Florida, Texas to Michigan. Read more about the who we are, the work we do, and the impact our churches are having all across the country in our annual report. We also encourage you to pray for our supported church planters below.
You can borrow disciples from other congregations — attracting them by your pulpit service or small groups. But filling a church with ready-made disciples and planting a church, in my mind, are two different things. Pastoral professionals fill churches, God plants them.
One mistake some people make in our tribe of Reformed Evangelicalism is to engage the culture only at a thought or worldview level. That is necessary and helpful, but we also need to draw out the implications of shifts in our culture’s belief systems and values to how we lead in the midst of them.
Often, I find myself feeling like our church plant is so small and slow and unorthodox that it’s almost inconsequential. The gatherings are ordinary, and our meeting places are less than ideal. I wonder, “Am I the right person for this?” And “Wouldn’t God be more glorified by a more attractive environment?” In the middle of my church planting insecurities, the season of Advent speaks into my fears.
A little over seven years ago, God moved me, my wife, my fourteen-year-old daughter and our two cats from Southern California to Northern Ohio. I was on staff at a large church at the time, and it seemed like God was opening a ministry door for us in a place I had traveled through many times and enjoyed immensely as a tourist — if there is such a thing as an Ohio tourist. Now, before I go any further, let me answer some questions that just popped into your head.
Pastor Jeremy Linneman of Trinity Community Church in Columbia, Missouri discusses transitioning from a church staff role to church planting, reminding us that "soul work is slow work."
One of the questions church planters are often asked is “Why are you planting a church? Isn’t there enough already?” As a network of pastors and church planters, why do we think church planting is so important? How does church planting contribute to healthy pastors and healthy churches? Dave Harvey answers these questions and more in this free Sojourn Network Paper.
We have a new padlock on the gate to our church building in downtown Birmingham. The old one was somehow misplaced, and that, in large part, was what led to our 24’ trailer getting stolen just two days before we were set to launch services in our new facility. That may not seem like such a big deal (that’s what insurance is for, right?), but the problem was that all of our sound and kids equipment had yet to be moved into the building from said trailer, meaning that we had less than 48 hours to come up with a lot of stuff or launch Sunday was a no-go!