When Jon Simmonds felt the call to plant a church, he didn’t know what he was getting into. He didn’t necessarily follow the set play book for planters and his church, The Table, is not your average church plant.
In the last year and a half, Bob Shallenberger has begun living in a different way. His values haven’t changed but his ability to be ‘on mission’ has. When a new task or project comes across his desk, he asks himself when doing this project, will he be Exemplifying Servanthood. If the answer is yes, then he knows he is doing something that is a part of God’s purpose for his life. Bob is an “On-Purpose” person.
One of the things we have been focusing on at Friendship Church is reaching out into the community, specifically, the Park West neighborhood behind us. We have had a burden for actually taking our people over into the community, and being visible to our neighbors.
God often uses our work to accomplish His own purpose. When we have opened our heart and hands to focus on Him and are seeking His will, it’s amazing how He responds. Kyle Shaw is a member of Miamisburg First Church of God and God answered his prayer during the church’s 40 Days of Relentless Pursuit, a time of prayer the church established to seek God as a community.
Recently, Tim Knighton of Shively Christian Church sat down with me to share how his assessments set him on a journey to be a better leader with his team, within the staff, with his congregation and at home.
1. There are 20,000 people in Miamisburg, Ohio. 16,000 of those don’t attend church on a regular basis.
2. 80% of the churches in the United States are plateaued or declining…we are one of them.
These two truths were the call to action for Miamisburg First Church of God. Because he knew they needed help to get to a new spot, Pastor Roy Maxwell and his team pursued the HGC Champions Scholarship last year. One year later, things are changing, energy is mounting, and the church is growing.
What if I am found wanting?
That’s the question Bill Greiner of Eagle Ridge Church of God found himself asking as he and his church prepared for their consultation weekend with HGC last year.
For Pastor Nathan Heady, waking up at 3 a.m. means one thing…it’s time to pray. He and his wife have a history with prayers needed and prayers answered in the small hours of the morning. So when he woke up on the Saturday before Easter and the clock said 3 a.m., he knew it was time to pray.
At the conclusion of the 40 day journey, Friendship Church had a celebration and invited those who participated to share stories of how God moved in their lives. One of the most inspiring came from one of Friendship’s newer Christ followers, Hailey Bennett.
Hailey took a bold step to ask to pray with one of her customers, knowing it may get her in trouble at work. And the best part, the customers let her.
First Church in St. Joseph, Michigan has dealt with the question of ‘what do you do when you can’t get people to Church?’ many times. They wrestled with reaching people from different demographics, different socio-economic groups, different towns within their region… About three years ago, First Church invited Healthy Growing Churches in to do a leadership consultation. In this consultation, a conversation about multiplication began. Since 2013, First Church has started two physical campuses in neighboring communities, Benton Heights and Stevensville. At the end of 2015, First Church decided to try something new.