You know the funny thing about watching a duck swim? Above the surface, it's complete calm... but below the surface, those feet are paddling furiously!
There's a lot of similarity between this this image and what's been happening this last month. In early March, after hosting 12 vision-casting gatherings, we released a Launch Team Self-Assessment Tool. No sooner had we released this tool when all 3 of us Pulliams got really sick for almost two weeks (flu + bronchitis = no fun)!
When it seemed as though things were all calm on the surface (we were literally quarantined to our house for 7 days), God was "paddling furiously" below the surface. People were being nudged by the Holy Spirit to complete the self-assessment tool... and many of them were sharing how carefully God had been preparing them for this task!
We are so pleased to announce that we have now entered the next phase of this church plant--the Launch Team training phase.
March, April, and May will be focused on equipping Launch Team members to be missionaries in the places they live, work, and play. This team originates with 12 individuals who will receive extra training in order to serve in key leadership roles for the first two years.
These "core" individuals will be helping us train up the next wave of leaders within the church plant. You see, here's the beautiful thing--we're not the last church plant in this area. This area needs a dozen more churches! We don't just want to build up a team of people to help us, we want to equip missionaries to send out when God calls!
In the early church, we see what is called "multiplication thinking." The early church was not concerned with adding to their existing ministries, membership rosters, meeting places, etc. They were concerned with multiplying the message-bringers throughout the known world. That's what we need today. Our vision is to invite people to walk with us as we walk with Jesus. And that includes when Jesus sends us out--we are developing missionaries, not club members!
Currently, the Launch Team stands at about 30 individuals from partnership churches and the community... CAN WE GET A "PRAISE GOD"?!?!?!
We hope to add another 20 individuals (mostly disconnected folks) to the team before we launch local community groups in September. If you're interested in checking out the syllabus for this season of training, click here.
What an honor. That's all there is to say.
What an honor to be learning and serving and walking with these amazing people... with this amazing community... as we walk with Jesus.
NOT PICTURED (but worth celebrating!): Last night we hosted an informal neighborhood gathering in our driveway and fifteen neighbors showed up to introduce themselves! At least four of these neighbors had lived on the block for over a decade and told us they had never even had a conversation with one another.
People are so hungry for community and the love of Christ! If you haven't considered how God might want to use you as a tool to reach your neighbors, please take it from us and JUST DO IT! It doesn't have to be complicated, either. All we did was serve pretzels and water out of a crock pot (for hot cocoa or hot toddies).
Need some tips on where to get started? What does it mean to party with purpose? Click here to download one of the training resources we put together for our Launch Team.