Wednesday, September 25, 2030
This past Sunday, we just concluded our 5th annual church planting conference where we heard from the leadership of the churches that we have had the opportunity to help with their formation or revitalization. Here is a review of the conference.
1. Our keynote speaker was Eric Stewart, pastor of One Life Church in Swartz Creek for the past 16 years. Since we have been very involved in the formation and development of One Life (2014), it has been exciting to see how this congregation has flourished, deepened, and planted two other healthy churches.
2. Our Manitoulin church plant has gone so well, that we were thrilled to hear of how they are establishing another church on the island in a neighboring community. Their leadership development has turned into a mini-Bible college format that is training 20 young men from the island who have a heart for Christ, the church, and their people. They want to see a gospel movement through healthy churches planted throughout the reserve. We heard the testimonies of three of these young men, as well as from the pastors of the church and the church plant to come.
3. A similar thing happened with our Hamtramck work. Shakil and his team have planted two churches and are currently looking at a third church being planted in this community. It has been so gratifying to see the fruit of this partnership going on 12 years now. The gospel is getting such good traction among the Yemeni and Bengali people that this past summer, a group of Bengali leaders from the churches in Hamtramck went back to Bangladesh and held their own 9Marks of a Healthy Church conference for pastors and leaders there.
4. We were also thrilled to hear back from several of the guys who had been church planting interns with us. Since Bob stepped down as Senior Pastor at Cornerstone a few years ago, he has been able to visit these churches and observe firsthand the fruit of their work and commend them to us.
2030 is only eleven years away. This update--or one like it--could actually be written by our senior pastor then. These kinds of ministry milestones do not come about without a lot of panning, coordination, buy-in and, above all, leading and blessing from the Lord. These ideas are some of the things that we look forward to pursuing more intentionally after our building is paid off. I want you to share in the vision of this together. Speaking of the elders, we want you to be informed, so that you will be encouraged and on board with what we are seeking to do. One of the ways in which we go about informing you and encouraging you is by providing opportunities to share things with you in a helpful format. The next two Sunday mornings at 9:30, we are seeking to do just that through our combined ABF time in the gym.
I am very, very grateful for our past and for the countless ways the Lord has sustained us so well, but my excitement for our future is even greater than my gratitude for our past. Living for what Christ died for (the church) is very satisfying, sustaining, and worthwhile. It is not easy, but we've all known that. Thank you for your faithful partnership in the gospel. It is already worth it, and that will only grow.
Grace and peace,
Sunday's Text: Acts 16:1-10