Outward: We Plant Churches
Leaders at Suncrest know Our Mission, Our 4 C’s (how we grow in our faith), and 5 DNA Markers (core values). These aren’t cute sayings that are in a brochure somewhere. They define everything. Many years we look for a value that may have slipped to the background and give it emphasis. This year that value is OUTWARD.
We use short sentences to give life to each value so today I’m starting a series of 4 posts to highlight each sentence attached to OUTWARD: Lost People matter uniquely to God. Their separation from Jesus drives us. We regularly sacrifice for those who are not part of our church. We plant churches.
We plant Churches. It would be hard to think of any three words that have had greater impact at Suncrest. Here’s how we think about it:
-Orchard, not tree. As much as God has blessed our own church, the greater blessing is through multiplication of new churches. Think about this: Last Sunday about 1400 people attended Suncrest. But…thousands and thousands of people have been reached by the churches we have started. Even better, we only plant churches that will also plant other churches. This isn’t about me, but personally I want to make the biggest difference I can in this world before I die…and along with raising my own 2 kids I’m pretty sure this is the way it is going to happen. Long after I’m gone, these churches should keep multiplying like bunnies!
-Giver, not taker. From Day ONE (thanks John Wasem!) Suncrest vowed we would set aside the first 10% of every offering we receive and be givers to others work in the kingdom of God. Right now almost 80% of that money (over $120,000 this year) is used for starting new churches around the world. I’m not certain of many things, but I absolutely know God has blessed Suncrest because of this, just as he blesses people who are givers.
-Embedded, not an Extra. When our staff or I travel to help new churches get started we are not doing “outside consulting”, it is part of our job at Suncrest. Between travel, conference calls, and building partnerships, I’m sure I give more than 10% of my time to the movement of starting new churches. It’s not an accent to our ministry, it is part of who we are. Yesterday I had a phone call with Gary Davis (planting in Walkerton). Today I had a phone call with Jared Mehrle (planting in 9 days outside of Atlanta!) and I had lunch our Suncrest team partnering to plant churches in Liberia (pictured with Liberian leaders Joe/Marie Lieway). Last week Bobby Jackson was working with our new church in Providence, RI. Next week David Vineyard will begin work with a new church up around O’hare.
Where are all these new churches? We’ve partnered to start a number of churches in New England and the Chicago area, one in Tampa, another in Jackson, TN. We’ve done it around the world in Portugal, Poland, outside of Mexico City, and many churches in Liberia. We plant churches…it’s central to our church living OUTWARD.