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HeBrews 10:24 –

A New Way to Start a Church

 
Fourteen months ago, God planted a seed in the heart of Chuck Knudson to go and live on mission in San Antonio. Today, after months of prayer, study, planning, and practicing, Chuck and his wife Azeneth are very close to fully living into this calling. One important question that every church planter has to answer is, “How are we going to engage our new neighbors? What will be our strategy to meet and connect people to a life-giving relationship of following Jesus?”
 
In their first few months of practicing evangelism in their current community of New Braunfels, the Knudsons discovered that while it is difficult for someone to accept an invitation to church, it is easy to accept an invitation into your home or a restaurant. And with this, God began to reveal to the Knudsons a unique approach to starting a church: coffee – more specifically, a local coffee shop featuring fresh-roasted coffee.
 
Chuck and Azeneth began envisioning a community coffee shop as a place to meet and engage new people in a casual and non-threatening environment while simultaneously generating the revenue needed to support their ongoing ministry efforts. They envisioned small groups, bible studies, discipleship classes, and recovery ministries meeting casually in this coffee shop. And they envisioned multiplying their impact by raising up new disciples of Jesus who could go live on mission and open coffee shop ministries in other neighborhoods across the city. And with that inspiration, HeBrews 10:24 Community Church was born “to stir up one another to love and good works!”
 
To help the Knudsons take the next step towards the coffee shop ministry that God has placed on their hearts, we are seeking to raise an initial $15,000 to cover the costs of starting the church-owned coffee roasting business. HeBrews 10:24 is looking to begin commercially roasting and marketing fresh-roasted coffee beans in the next six weeks, so your timely contribution is encouraged!
 
It is important to note that HeBrews 10:24 has a volunteer board that is working with Chuck and Azeneth as they launch this new ministry and they have also agreed to be accountable to the LCMC Texas District and weekly receive coaching from me. Even though this church planting strategy may sound unusual, you can rest assured that it is indeed a worthy investment in the Kingdom of God.
 
Would you please consider giving a generous contribution towards the HeBrews 10:24 vision for mission in San Antonio? All contributions are 100% tax deductible. You can make online contributions through our website at www.lcmctexas.org/give/. You can also send a check by mail to LCMC Texas District, 821 County Road 148, Georgetown, TX 78626. Please notate that the contribution is for San Antonio Mission. Thank you for your generous support and please pray for the Knudsons and for HeBrews 10:24!
 
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Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for the LCMC Texas District. Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or bryce@lcmctexas.org.
 
 
© 2017 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
October 2017

Beyond Boats and Babies

 

We recently concluded our 2017 LCMC Texas District Annual Gathering where we explored the question, “What does it mean multiply?” About 40 pastors and church leaders attended the Pre-Gathering Leadership Seminar to explore the biblical and theological foundations of multiplication. But before we dug in, we went around the room, introduced ourselves, and each answered the question, “What does ‘multiply’ mean to me?” The responses were wonderful! We began to see the rich diversity of thought and ideas regarding multiplication. And we even had a good chuckle or two. My favorite answer came from one of our pastors who simply answered “rabbits!”

To multiply means to bring a great increase, to make many, to reproduce, etc. And after we explored these various definitions, we asked this question: “What has multiplication looked like historically for Lutherans in America?” The two answers I was prepared for were stated from the group almost immediately: boats and babies.

For the most part in our American history, Lutheran churches grew and established more churches through an influx of immigration and children born to Lutheran parents. But eventually the boats stopped bringing Lutheran immigrants and birthrates in Lutheran families began to dwindle. So Lutheran church bodies focused their attention on Lutheran migration within our country, establishing new churches in places of population growth… the places where Lutherans were moving to. As you likely already know, this was the beginning of an extended period of decline for Lutherans in America that has persisted for generations.

The truth we are confronted with today is that God is calling the church to a deeper and more faithful understanding of and approach to multiplication. Multiplication isn’t about boats and babies. It isn’t about starting churches where Lutheran people move to. It isn’t about starting churches for conservative Lutherans who are stuck in liberal churches. And it certainly isn’t just about growing the spiritual depth of our church members. Instead, multiplication is about actual obedience to Christ’s command to go and make disciples of those who do not believe.

In Acts we read about thousands of people coming to faith in Jesus before the church even left Jerusalem. We read that daily people were coming to faith in Jesus and the church grew and grew. This is our hope for the church once again in America: that the Lord add daily to our numbers those who were being saved! That’s multiplication far beyond boats and babies! It starts with individuals and congregations pursuing obedience to Christ’s command instead of settling for a lesser vision for the church. So let’s be a first century church for the 21st century!
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Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for the LCMC Texas District. Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or bryce@lcmctexas.org.
 
 
© 2017 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
September 2017