On Friday night during our Ecclesia National Gathering 2015 celebration dinner, a new award was announced to honor the faithfulness of those who have persevered in the hard work of church planting. Often we see two realities in the world of missional planting. The first is that a new congregation is planted and given a variety of factors, it is met with steady (if not quick) success. Of course, we rejoice in those circumstances and try to learn from them the best we can. The second is that a new plant is not met with the success that the planter and/or team would have hoped. Within a certain amount of time they usually “feel a call” to move elsewhere.
What is not often celebrated are those who stay the course through the early challenges that can sometimes last several years. For many, these seasons are filled with questions, discouragement, a feeling of two steps forward – two steps back, and financial pressures. Yet, they press through, and often, the Lord meets their faithfulness on the other side of the challenge. This year we inaugurated this award by recognizing 4 of our pastors/planter couples:
1. John & Sherri Chandler of Austin Mustard Seed in Austin, TX.
2. Gary & Susan Alloway of Redemption Church in Bristol, PA.
3. Bryan & Molly Long of Agora Community in Rochester, NY.
4. Ryan & Kim Braught of Veritas Community in Lancaster, PA.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.”
– Rev. 2:17
Let’s continue to congratulate and uphold these friends, their communities, and their cities in prayer!