MainSectionBasically there are two approaches.  One builds a church and the other builds a community of Christ-followers.  The first method copies the mantra from Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."  Therefore, you locate a tract of land, you embark on building out church programs to attract people, you post a large sign with a denominational name, you polish up some brochures, incoporate a fresh logo, expending large amounts of money up front in order to open the doors quickly...and then you wait, because this is considered the "old model."
There is, however, a new model emerging for church planting that returns to a grass-roots, relationally-based movement.  Rather than waiting for people to show up, we go where the people already are.  Not just the church planter, but the entire community.  You engage them on "their turf" inviting rather than attracting.  As your own faith moves from being dormant and passive, you begin to demonstrate the power of a Gospel-centered life.

Rather than guilting teenagers to come out on Sunday nights for youth group, we equip parents, coaches, teachers, and students with the Gospel so they can transform people wherever they serve.  Rather than subtly saying, "if you don't join one of our small groups, you are not a full Christian," you show people how their spin-class, neighborhood supperclub, golf 4some, and business partners are small groups ripe to be transformed by the Gospel.
A church planter writes, "What most people don't realize is that we have moved from an 'attract culture' to an 'invite culture' where people are far more likely to show up at a church if a friend invited them."  He differentiates the two approaches this way: 

Old Model
New Model

As Philip tells Nathanel when he wondered if the news of Jesus could really be that good..."Come and See."
That is how you start a church, with the first invitation given by someone seeking to follow Christ, "Come and See."  Therefore, you are invited to join our Trailblazer Team on October 17th for a program-free time for fellowship and connection. 

ACTS 17:26-27

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DevotionThis rarely discussed passage from Acts gives us a big glimpse into God's purpose for our lives.  It says that from one man, Adam, God was able to populate the world, in order that He could strategically place us in time and space.  However, our placement was not for our benefit, but so that people could do three thing: seek Him, reach out to Him and find Him.  We become conduits through which Jesus fulfills His mission.
At just the right time and space, God has placed you here so that you might help others see how close Jesus is to their lives. 
Who is someone that helps you see the closeness of Jesus?  How might you be a spiritual conduit to someone else?  So what are you going to do about it this week?
Become A
"Fundraising is first and foremost a form of ministry.  It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission..."it is precisely the opposite of begging. 
~Henri Nouwen



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A Spouse Perspective:  

"What is life like now?"



Three months into this new gig, things seem simultaneously different and much the same.  The reality is that the demands of young children keep us grounded and into a routine.  Yet, our life centers on a new part of town, the boys are in a new preschool, and Wes has different hours and responsibilities.  


We feel it's our calling as a family to model the family-work balance that is so difficult to achieve.  Just like for our peers, some days are better than others.  There have been some very lovely afternoons where Wes 

"There is great peace in doing exactly what God has called you to do."
joins us outside at 4 or 5pm to play baseball or run around the yard.   In the past, we were lucky to see him in time for dinner at 6pm.  Beyond the selfish reasons that this earlier time suits me, the children are appreciating Wes' greater availability and we are also getting more involved with the neighbors and families nearby simply by being more present....this IS ministry happening in our own front yard.  


There have also been days where the work carries on into the evenings and appears at points on the weekends.  Just as in established church ministry, there is always work to be done.  I regularly check in with Wes to see if he's plugging away in a satisfying way or creating work in order to feel productive.  As it tends to go with church planting, it is often a little of both.  The ups and downs are frequent, but Wes and I both agree that this is the most fulfilled he has felt in a long time.  There is great peace in doing exactly what God has called you to do.


Wes starts most of his mornings up before 5am to get to F3.  This is such an important outlet for him as he gets to know and serve men from so many walks of life, but he's just as often impacted by them.  It's not unusual for him to spend most of the day meeting with people and hearing their story and sharing the story of this new church.  Except for the jitters that come after 10 cups of coffee in one day, these days leave him the most uplifted.  He hadn't previously had the freedom-or perhaps the sense of call-to be readily available to the men he's serving.  He routinely meets with someone at the last minute, as the situation unfolds and needs arise.  The ministry of presence and availability is often lost in our rushed culture.  I'm proud of the way he pours so freely into others' lives. 


A church for the overburdened and overscheduled by changing lives through genuine community, Biblical teaching and authentic worship.
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Charlotte, NC