Update From Nate – BIG NEWS!
Hey, Becky and I wanted to get an update out on what is happening with us and the plan for the next few months. Some of you may have heard that we have been praying about an opportunity to church plant in the greater Seattle area. Through this time of prayer, counseling with those we trust and respect, and considering the impact on our family, we feel strongly that God is leading us to plant this church north of Seattle, WA. So we wanted to address a few questions that may arise with this announcement:
What does this mean for your family?
We carefully considered the impact this would have on the girls (they were 5 yrs and 3 yrs when we moved to NJ), and have prayerfully included them within this process. We believe they understand the calling and leading of the Lord even when it means leaving friends we care about and a church we love. They comprehend the purpose of building God’s kingdom wherever and to the capacity God desires, not our own selfish plans and are willing and excited to follow Christ’s leading in our next steps. Please pray for the girls; especially Elli, as her heart is tender and feels this loss of friends, church, and familiarity deeply. Pray for Becky as she attempts to wrap up schooling the girls and prepare for the cross-country move.
What does this mean for the adoption?
As we share this with people, one pertinent question is ‘how will this effect the adoption?’ We are currently ready to do the home study and state paperwork (which is specific to your location), so due to the potential transition we had to put the adoption on hold until we knew where we would be. Now that we know we will be relocating, the process will need to wait until we get settled in Washington. Once settled in Washington, by God’s grace, we will continue with the adoption process as planned.
What does this mean for Church Without Borders?
As many of you know, two and a half years ago we planted a church in NJ with our friends John and Jen Megaw and a core team of amazing folks. We knew when we started that our calling to NJ was not long term (meaning we would not retire here), but we also knew God was asking us to stay and plant this church amidst the challenging situation we had come out of. We love the church (the universal church as the gathering of all true believers) and still believe in God’s desire to use his church to spread the gospel to all nations, even though it is so easy for unhealthy leaders to grasp at control and power. Now here we are two and a half years into the church plant, CWB is growing and on mission and we feel the church is at a good place. I am not sure he knew at the time, but John listed one of his goals for CWB this year was to be involved in a church plant – now it appears we will launch the first of hopefully many churches that come from Church Without Borders. But being a young church, we could not sustain a full church plant on our own. God knew this and lead us to partner with some great people out west.
Who are you working with in planting the church?
We are being sent from Church Without Borders but will be planting through Seattle Church Planting (SBC) and The Bridge Church of Snohomish. In this journey, God lead us to partner with a local church in the area we will be planting and truly has orchestrated this fit. As we began the initial conversations, I was overjoyed at the compatibility in doctrine, mission, and vision. It is also exciting that the idea is much bigger than just one church. We will be the first church plant within a new resource network of churches. This is super exciting as the vision to work together with other churches cross-denominationally, cross-generationally, and cross-culturally is a huge desire of ours and an integral part of what we feel God calling us (as the universal church) to pursue. During this time we have undergone assessments, church planters training, doctrinal forms, personal forms, etc., which has been a draining and challenging process, but has also been very encouraging and reassuring of our call to ministry. The presence of true Godly leaders is apparent not by the large organizations they have built, but by the humility of their leadership, the relational accountability required for every leader (those very influential to seemingly insignificant), and the honest transparency that frankly is not common in American churches today. We are very excited about the organization we will be working with to plant this church and ask that you will pray for God’s favor with coaches and mentors who will be investing in us, opportunities within the community we plant, and boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What is your timeframe?
At this point we are looking at moving in July. Right now we are focusing on finishing well at CWB and planning out the needed steps for BridgeCity. The largest step is building a team of planting partners, which are churches and individuals who commit to partnering with us in planting this church (for more info see below). Our timeframe is looking like arriving in WA in August, settling and beginning to build a planting team in conjunction with The Bridge Church through the end of the year. The goal is to have our full public launch in September of 2014.
How can we get involved?
Well, there are a few areas we will need partners in:
- Prayer Partnership: Prayer will make or break this venture – if God does not go before us, this will not go well. We are asking our family and friends to pray with us through this next season of transition and into the season of planting. Pray for peace when everything is turned upside down. Pray for provision as we step out in faith from a consistent source of income to the unknown. Pray for opportunity and favor within the community and leaders of the city in which we are planting. Pray for protection on our family, our marriage, our time with God, etc. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send workers to go with us to plant this church. Just to mention a few.
- Financial Partnership: Planting a church well requires adequate resources. So we are trusting in God’s provision as we step out in faith. Sometimes God’s provision comes through financial partners who believe in the kingdom of God, in his church, and in our calling (Becky and I) to plant BridgeCity church. If that is you or your church, please visit our website [www.bridgecitywa.com] for more planting partner information.
- Team Members: God may be calling some to join us in this church plant. It may require relocating for a season (like short term missions of 1 or 2 years) or until God moves you on, but we are praying for God to establish the team he desires for this church plant. If God is calling you to join, email me through here, FB, or the church plant website [www.bridgecitywa.com].
- Spread the Word: God may not be calling you to help with this plant in the above ways, but maybe he will use you to connect us with someone he has to partner with us. We ask that you are open and willing to be a connector as the Lord would lead. Either to your church or to a potential team member, or someone you may know in the area we are planting who may be searching for a church to plug into.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this, more info can be found at www.bridgecitywa.com