Bloom Where You’re Planted, III
Twelve years ago I sat with my husband at a table, in a lecture room, at Emmanuel Christian Seminary terrified and surrounded by other terrified couples. We were nervous, excited and a little astonished that we were actually considering church planting. All of us were gathered for an assessment, the litmus test of church planters. The week long intensive evaluation included sleep deprivation, putting us through our paces, and bringing our leadership skills, gifts and failings to the surface.
It was in this blissful environment that I first met Sara McGue and her husband Matt. They too had accepted the challenge to determine if they were suitable for church planting. I recall being in a group with them to do some demographic work. We received the assignment very late that evening and had to work in Emmanuel’s library deep into the night gathering all the information that was due the next day.
Forged in the bonds of assessment torture…I mean pressure… Sara and I began a tentative friendship that week twelve years ago that has brought us to today.
When we planted, we both ended up in Charlotte, NC. We planted six months apart; she and Matt launching in the southwest corner of Charlotte and Dave and I launching in the northeast corner. While getting together across town seemed logical, between our schedules that often didn’t work out. But I looked forward to carpooling with her to retreats and spending time together when we could.
I always felt comfort knowing that Sara was just across town, if I ever needed her, and then suddenly, she was gone! She and Matt made the decision last year to move and plant again. Her story is the first one you will read.
It is with deep thankfulness and appreciation that I am able to put this book together with Sara this year. I went back to teaching high school English full time in the fall of 2014, all the while knowing I was on tap to write, collaborate and edit book 3. Without Sara’s help, organization and gentle reminders, this book would not have gotten finished by deadline. Sara is the Writer Wrangler extraordinaire for this project. She ran interference with all the authors who contributed to this beautiful book and allowed me to finish the school year with my mind and family intact.
What you are about to read in this book is very precious to me. Complied here are the resplendent soul stories of the stunning women who are pouring their lives out for Christ each day all across our country in one of the most difficult and yet rewarding ministry fields, church planting. Their willingness to be vulnerable and open about hurts, frustrations, confusions and joys is what makes each story exquisite.
Additionally, every writer understands church planting on a visceral level. These authors represent the unsung heroes of church planting. Without their willingness to share their stories, there would be no Bloom III book. A huge thanks goes out to all the writers for taking the time to recount their adventures in church planting.
Soul stories of the stunning women who are pouring their lives out for Christ each day all across our country in one of the most difficult and yet rewarding ministry fields, church planting. All writers are members of Bloom, Stadia: New Church Strategies.
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Bloom Where You’re Planted, III Contributors:
The Foundry, Baltimore Maryland - Planted Oct 2013
Tri-Cities Church, Atlanta, Georgia - Planted 2013
Genesis Project, Slidell, Louisiana - Planted 2011 & 2014
Revolution 216 Cleveland, Ohio - Planted 2011
Movement Church, Findlay, Ohio - Planted October 2014
InRoads Christian Church, Fremont, CA - Planted 2001
Momentum Christian Church San Diego, CA - Planted 2008
Restore Community Church, Kansas City, MO - Planted MAR 2013
Thrive Church, Dayton, Ohio - Planted 2015
ONE Church Jackson, Mississippi - Planted 2014
Community Christian Church Chicago, IL, Planted Oct 2013
SummitLife Sedona, Arizona - Planted 2012
Thrive Church Mt Pleasant, Missouri - Planted October 2013
Varsity Church Chapel Hill, NC - Planted Oct 2011
Engage Church Memphis, Tennessee - Planted 2014