In January, Pastor Stu unveiled our vision to plant 37 churches throughout Indiana. You can listen to that sermon here, but I also encourage you to watch the entire series, in order, to understand the heart and intent behind our vision. In addition to the goal of planting 37 churches, we also announced in January that we would be starting a new campus in the city of Garrett this fall.
It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway – this is a BIG vision that has stirred up a ton of excitement and anticipation. When we unleashed the vision upon the church, it was interesting to hear what God was doing in people’s hearts. Conversations, emails, and messages started coming my way as I heard about people’s excitement, fear, wonder, anticipation, and some skeptical.
Unleashing the vision was the easy part, now begins the arduous journey of putting a strategy behind the vision and then start to implement that plan. As has been communicated, this is new territory for us as a church and something we have never done before. However, that is not going to keep us from doing what we know God is calling us to do.
We intend to update you regularly on the vision. Pastor Stu will give monthly updates on Sunday mornings. I (Pastor Nathan) will be providing weekly updates via this blog. My goal is to share with you vision updates, strategy implementation, information and best practices on church planting, and on how YOU can get involved.
One significant change as we have begun walking this out is a name change as well as our goal of planting churches in counties without a Church of God (Anderson) congregation. Here are the details:
We have decided to change our vision strategy from Project 37 to Crossroads 37. First, we decided that we don’t want this vision to be a project that has a beginning and an end. Instead, we want this to become a lifestyle for our church. We hope to plant, directly or indirectly, more than 37 churches in Indiana.
Second, we wanted a name that personalizes the vision. Our great state is known as the “Crossroads of America.” As this vision reaches the entire State of Indiana, we thought it was an appropriate name to use for where God is calling us to go.
Third, the definition of crossroads is where we want to be standing when it comes to planting churches.
1. an intersection of two or more roads.
* a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences.
“we stand again at a historic crossroads”
As we walk out this vision, each church we plant and every decision made along the way will have “far-reaching consequences.” Lives are hanging in the balance; families are losing hope, neighborhoods, and communities are fading away, and we have the opportunity to start restorative communities in those places that can change everything.
After further investigation by our state office, Indiana Ministries, there are actually fewer than 37 counties without a Church of God congregation (CHOG). As of now, there are 34 counties without a CHOG.
The motive behind this vision was not to plant more CHOG congregations. Or, to ensure that every county had a CHOG congregation. However, we believe that God used the counties, map, and the number 37 to get our attention.
Our number one priority in planting churches is to introduce more people to Jesus Christ. Remember, as Pastor Stu stated in his opening vision sermon, we are about Showing Compassion and Reaching People. Every church should be about both of those. Read this article from Christianity Today on other reasons as to why established churches should be about planting new churches.
Our goal is to plant 37 churches throughout Indiana. Each church may be a satellite campus or an autonomous church. We also believe God is calling us to plant churches throughout the United States and around the world. I will be writing more about that later.
It is an exciting time to be a part of County Line Church. God has blessed us in many ways, as well as give us an opportunity to bless others through his church. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for questions or information.
(Pastor Nathan is the Mission Advancement Pastor at County Line Church. His primary responsibilities are overseeing missions and multiplication. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)