My wife and I are planting Greenville Community Church in Greenville, SC. We are constantly meeting people in the city and they always ask this really important question…
Why are you planting a church and why Greenville?
It’s a really good question and one that you better be able to answer if you want to step into a journey like church planting or church revitalization. The answer to that question reveals so much of the motivation of the leader. Each time the question comes up I have a chance to unpack a little vision with the people I meet. In the moment I get to share something like this…
There are lots of churches in Greenville doing good things, yet there are thousands of people not connected to them. To reach people no one is reaching you have to do some things no one is doing and our team is ready to reimagine church and create that place for people in our city. This is why we want to plant Greenville Community Church; to lead people toward an authentic pursuit of Christ in community.
In a very religious area, we are planting a life giving church that will look different in our context. We feel called to create the 2nd wave of churches that will shape the spiritual destiny of our community for years to come. This 2nd wave of churches is not going to look or feel like the churches planted 10-15 years ago. Planting this church allows us the freedom to step in new directions from day one and adjust quickly as we strive to reach people in our city.
When you hear someone share their vision for planting or relaunching a church, there is always more! I want to share a little of what is driving our family. Here is our “more” when it comes to planting…
- God has called us to this community. / We just finished 10 years serving the city of Clarksville, TN and we felt called to that city when we moved there. As we prayed about what was next and eventually where to plant we sensed that same call once again to Greenville, SC. We believe that to serve in a city with passion you better have a deep love for that region and those people. These are the people God has called us to and we really are for these people and this city.
- God has birthed a unique dream in our souls. / Over the past year, God has placed a vision for Greenville Community Church in our hearts. What do you do when God births a dream and confirms it through other voices? You step out in obedience. That’s what we are doing…being obedient.
- We want to lead together. / Chelsea and I feel led to lead together in this season. She will be our Executive Pastor and I will serve as our Lead Pastor but we are leading as a team. In order to lead together, we sensed we needed to launch something together. (Don’t worry, we have already experienced serving together on a church staff for 6 years!) Chelsea and I leading together is going to be dramatically different in our city, but we feel it’s critically important to reach people for Jesus in the years to come.
- We long to merge authenticity with simple excellence. / This is one of the anchors of this plant. Why can’t a church be real, be focused on authentic relationships, and be excellent in everything they do? We believe it’s possible. We have seen in some other churches we are learning from. We want to birth that kind of church in Greenville.
- We hope to plant a network of churches in our community. / We believe deeply that as our region grows the “community church” will be desperately important. We want to grow through planting and relaunching churches in Greenville county. Practically as we grow numerically we want to send people out to launch churches in their area of town. We are dreaming about a network of churches, led by local leadership, united in vision and mission in our community.
These are our reasons. These ideas and dreams fuel us in the difficult work of starting a new church. I will talk about this in another post but this is why we are so thankful for the team at ARC (Association of Related Churches) that helped us process these ideas before we stepped out in faith. Planting is hard…you better know why or you will not make it!