The road to planting a church is too difficult to go alone.
Of course, and without a doubt, we make this journey with God by our side and dwelling within us. On our worst days He is more than able to sustain us and on our best days He is the first Person I rejoice in and with over the great things He is doing in our lives and the life of our church plant. In this sense I know that we are not alone.
But God has also given us and used great partnering organizations that sustain us, support us, love us, and encourage us as we plant Rising Church in Leesburg, VA. I do not know where we would be or how we would have gotten to this point if it were not for 2 incredible organizations that have walked alongside of our family from the beginning. As I continue to reflect on our journey now that we are a week-and-a-half away from our first Sunday morning worship service I want to give pause and thank them for their ministry to us.
Our national partnering organization, the North American Mission Board. I am so grateful for their support and guidance in helping us navigate this call from God and where we would ultimately plant. NAMB’s church planting initiative, SEND North America, outlines 5 regions targeting 32 cities in which churches must be planted to create a Gospel movement in our country. Strategically, it is so encouraging for us to know that we are one church plant in 1 of 32 cities in 1 of 5 regions to reach North America and ultimately the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How awesome is that? In addition to knowing that we are part of a larger church planting movement than just our efforts alone, NAMB also provides great care and support for our family. Clint Clifton – our SEND DC city coordinator – encourages us in our work, networks us with other churches from around the country that want to get involved in SEND DC, makes site visits to our mission field, prays with me and for me, and assists us with financial resources. He is a rock star! In addition to Clint, there is a team at NAMB called the SEND Network that encourages us and prays for us regularly as well. They provide amazing resources for us – my favorite of which is a church planting coach who journeys alongside of us and is a great encourager and sounding board as we plant. To these people specifically, and the entire NAMB team, we are extremely grateful of the love and support that you provide for us!
Our state-level partnering organization, the SBC of Virginia. I could not imagine a partnering organization that provides more regular and in-depth support and encouragement than the SBC of Virginia. They provide ongoing training, workshops, networking events, and various other resources that help us as we plant. It is obvious that church planting is a significant priority for them. Mark Custalow leads the entire church planting team at the SBCV and I have the privilege of working closely with Vince Blubaugh, the Northern Virginia Church Planting Strategist. These men, along with several others at the SBCV, are never more than a phone call or email away and have walked alongside of us in the good and the bad. The support they provide from a ministry standpoint, an administrative standpoint, and a networking standpoint is second to none. We have 3 churches that are partnered with our church plant in an ongoing, monthly basis that are each the direct result of the networking efforts of this team.
The beautiful thing, NAMB and the SBC of VA work together to support our church plant!
I am humbled that we are a church plant of NAMB and the SBCV. I thank God for their partnership and leadership as we plant Rising Church. If you are a church planter or are considering church planting, I would strongly encourage you to reach out to these 2 organizations and see if God would make a way for a partnership to be formed. We could not do what we do alone, and I am grateful to these 2 organizations that we don’t have to.