Ft. Wayne is home to many firsts, some you’ve probably heard of (the game of basketball) and some you’ve probably not (baking powder).
We are excited to have Life on the Vine as a part of the Ecclesia Network. Their young congregation is located in the NW Suburbs of Chicago in the community of Long Grove, IL.
Life on the Vine is co-pastored by Geoff Holdsclaw, Matt Tebbe, and Dave Fitch. They are in the process of helping to start two new churches in the Chicago area in the next two years. We are excited to join with them in multiplying gospel communities throughout the Mid-West.
Preaching and teaching at Crossroads Church in Odenton, Maryland is a big part of the process of us helping our people understand God’s grace to us and how living on mission is a natural response to that grace. Almost all of the teaching times at Crossroads end with the exhortation to go out and “live and reveal the kingdom of God this week” and our people are beginning to get it and are enjoying living that out!
Besides preaching and teaching about what it means for us to be a missional people, Crossroads is offering a variety of opportunities for our people to get outside the church walls and practice actually doing missions. We know that people tend to get better at doing what is modeled for them and what they have a chance to practice, so we organize a monthly local mission activity in our community, doing things like serving at a homeless shelter, helping Habitat for Humanity build a home, or providing the music for an outreach activity at a local park. This way, our folks actually get to practice missions, and as they participate we encourage them to begin to listen to God and let him show them their own personal mission field.
We also offer a variety of other mission opportunities outside of our immediate community, like a trip to New Orleans to help rebuild after hurricane Katrina, a summer trip to Mexico to join with a Mexican church in spreading the story of God’s love, and other opportunities in the U.S. and overseas. We’re really not doing anything special, just what God’s people are supposed to be doing, but we sure are having fun doing it!
We’re excited to pride some updates, news on some of the newer churches in Ecclesia…
All Souls Community
All Souls is very much in its infant stage. We are taking things slow, hoping to ask good questions and begin good friendships that will allow us to form an indigenous community that takes pleasure in God by enjoying authentic relationships and working toward Charlottesville’s true good. We have had a couple locals join us, and we are still waiting for several members of our initial community to move. This city has captured our heart. A week or two ago, my wife Miska said, “It feels like we were made for this place.” At several moments, it has seemed obvious that God has gone before us, giving us favor. Personally, we are in need of finding spiritual rhythms, and of course, we are prayerfully hoping toward connecting with that small number of new friends who want to share Jesus-life with us here. We see God at work, and we want to pay attention to what he has for us.
East End Ecclesia
We are currently in the process of raising financial support and preparing to move to Pittsburgh on Nov,22 2008. Upon arrival to Pittsburgh we will begin the process of building a core team through outreach, service, and evangelism. Along with growing the core team we will also begin weekly meetings to develop those on the team by sharing the vision, mission, values, and core doctrinal beliefs that will shape East End Ecclesia. We will also be working on establishing multiple mission opportunities that will be offered during the upcoming summer.
The Renew Community is a newly forming faith community for skeptics and dreamers in Lansdale, PA. We are currently meeting as a launch team to pray, plan and prepare for the future direction and mission of our community. Renew has recently launched their website and is in the process of launching their house churches.