Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24 NLT)
Over the last 48 hours I have been in a car with Doug Ruffle for over 800 miles. We connected with twelve unique church plants meeting incredible clergy, laity, and conference staff leaders. What have I been doing? I’ve been visiting church plants and new faith communities, “celebrating what works, learning what doesn’t and dreaming of what could be” for the future of our denomination. This is the Path1 Summer Road Trip!
First stop, the Atlanta area. Dr. Phil Schroeder, director of New and Existing Congregational Development in the North Georgia Conference, graciously met and accompanied us on each visit. As we sat and listened, each church planter shared stories filled with honesty, passion, pain, and excitement about what God was doing in their midst.
At the Bridge we met a young couple who serve as worship leaders. They shared about the relational connections and opportunities to serve their community in ways that make their faith journey meaningful was the reason they joined this new church.
At City on a Hill church we met a gray haired man cutting the grass on his day off. Tomorrow when he goes to work he shared he will be flying a commercial jet transporting people across the country. When I asked him why he attends this new church he responded:
“The sermons are relevant and applicable to my life. I’ve been Methodist since I moved to the city. When my church closed, I visited other churches and felt accepted and at home at this new church.”
Another planter shared how he sometimes gets weary on this church planting journey, yet he finds refreshment with his accountability group.
“This is a place where I can be honest about the joys and struggles in church planting”.
I was greatly inspired to stand in the midst of a 76,000 square foot of warehouse space and hear Rev. Olu Brown, lead pastor at the Impact Church share convincingly and point out with conviction the vision of what would be in the space even though it doesn’t exist yet.
Each visit concluded with us praying. Why pray? Because we wanted to speak a blessing over the church planters and pray for God to continue to protect, inspire, and encourage them in this great work!!!
The scripture stated above from Hebrews 10:24 reminds us to “think of ways to motivate each other to love and good works“. Each visit motivated and inspired me to continue in our work of resourcing annual conferences in their church planting efforts. Each visit reminded me of how much I loved being called to serve as a church planter for twelve years.
I pray that each visit we make this summer to church plants across the United States motivate church planters, developers, and staff to continue in love and good works. This road trip has mutual benefits!!!
Read the original blog post at http://umcnewchurchstarts.org/2013/07/path-1-roadtrip-in-north-georgia/.