When dreams become reality…

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It doesn’t get much better than this.

Despite some travel challenges, I’ve had a wild 24 hours of recognizing how God has used a church like Suncrest.  I’m in New England for meetings and here is what I’ve realized about Suncrest’s role in church planting out here.  Think about this…

Rockingham Christian Church in Salem, New Hampshire was the first church plant Suncrest was a major partner in.  If anyone doubted whether church planting would be in Suncrest’s DNA, they saw it when we helped put together the launch of this church while Suncrest was only 2 years old itself with a $35,000 commitment!  That background work took a while and it was 1999 when this church actually launched.  In addition to $$$, we had a staff member (Chris Snyder) that had moved to New England and he and his wife would become integral to the launch. 

I served on the leadership team of the church for some time before handing that responsibility to Dan Smith (one of our elders at the time and missions team leader).  Last year, we sent a team that included Mary Beth Stockdale, Pam Patterson Smith and Annette Hose to help them pull off “Camp Create” — an incredible outreach to children in their community.  In February, Dan worshipped with Rockingham as they transitioned from this “outside” leadership team to a leadership team now fully made up of RCC attenders.  The church has 3 Sunday morning services and is seeing people baptized all the time!

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EastPointe Christian Church in Portland, Maine was another church plant that became a major commitment for us.  I think we gave over $40,000 total to help it launch.  I was on the leadership team at the beginning and I remember they needed some manpower help with their first rented facility in 2004.  We sent a work crew out there that ended up saving them thousands of dollars each month on heating costs.  I can’t remember everyone that went, but I seem to think it included Randy Parish, Jim McAgy, and James Williamson, Randy Wierzbicki and Mike Fortner.  I can’t remember for sure.

It wasn’t long before I handed off my leadership team spot to Denise Tribble (a volunteer from our missions team, now on staff in that area).  She did a fantastic Job!!!  She resourced them with our experience in transitioning to having internal leaders and connected them with one of our elders (John Stas) to do some training out there.  Earlier this month John was out there for Service where we handed off leadership to their new elders.  I had coffee with their youth minister today and he told me this young church had 425 people there on Sunday.  This church planting thing actually works!!

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Reunion Christian Church in Boston is our newest church plant in New England.  They launched just over a year ago.  Our commitments keep growing as we are putting over $50,000 into this one.  I’m on their leadership team (not sure when I’m handing this one off yet) and met with their lead pastor today.  Not only are they reaching people in an urban area (incredibly difficult!) but doing it at an incredible pace.  They had 278 people on their first anniversary service last month! 

Again, Suncrest people have gone out to help with some construction (Bert Regnier, Don Miller, Ken and Carroll Hickok), we have a Suncrest college student (Pete Koopmans) who plays the drums for them.  I just love it how God works.

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A new church in Providence, Rhode Island is the our next step in New England.  It’s in the planning stages and we will have Doug Gamble and a missions team member serve on that leadership team.  Our partner in all of this has been Restoration House Ministries.  Dan Clymer and the team out there are transforming the spiritual landscape of New England and we are fortunate to have such a strategic and faith-filled partner. 

 Though we are still a young church with a long, long way to go, God is kind enough to let us begin seeing our dreams become a reality.  God is good.

~ by Greg Lee on March 11, 2008.

One Response to “When dreams become reality…”

  1. WOW…Wonderful…to see the work of God happening there…AMEN. Greetings to you from Nepal….and praying for your church and please pray for our 24 churches all over himalayas…those pastor and leaders need solid training…

    Blessings…

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