Tom Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org), a native northwesterner, is on a “missionary assignment” to the southwest! He is the church planting coordinator for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
A model they use frequently is a lay-led, pastoral coached church planting system. Here are some of the activities he is involved with and requests prayer for–
We have been busy with many exciting developments.
1. Lay Church Planter Recognition
This past Sunday we had the first Lay Church Planter event that was conference-wide for the Texas Conference.
We have a total of 80 active plants and 40 of them are lay led. All of our lay planters are assigned a pastor who serves as their coach and helps develop them in ministry. We invited coaches to join the planters and spouses. A total of around 100 people attended. We enjoyed a devotional by our president, Leighton Holley, followed by a Texas-size buffet brunch.
The meeting involved sharing of information helpful to the planters and coaches as well as testimonies. We are thankful for the ministry of our lay planters and coaches and for all that God is doing through them.
2. Church Planting Rally in Houston- October 19-20
The Houston International Church hosted a conference-wide planting rally featuring Dr. Russell and Cynthia Burrill. A call was made for lay members of the International church to launch out and plant a new church. Around 25 members responded to the call. The Houston International church with Pastor Kendall Turcios has already baptized over 100 people this year (and yes, it is an English church!). In addition, a new church planter stepped forward with an interest in planting a Spanish church in Katy (a Houston suburb). There is also an interest in a plant inside the loop of Houston focused on young adults.
3. Visit from Pennsylvania.
For this past week, I’ve been honored to have a visit from Bill Peterson of the Pennsylvania Conference. He has shown an interest in what we are doing in Texas with church planting and wanted to experience it first hand. This past Sabbath, we visited “The Woodlands” church plant north of Houston. This group launched in January and already have 40-60 in attendance for Sabbath services. They have a strong small group ministry and are exciting about launching the CHIP program. They are in a very affluent area. The group is led by 3 lay people and they enjoy the visit of Pastor Paul LeBlanc once a month to preach. He meets with the 3 leaders every Sunday night for coaching.
4. Upcoming events.
We have slated all of our planting dates for 2008. If you are able to attend any of them, you are welcome:
- February 1-2 Dallas Ft. Worth Area Grand Prairie Church
- Feb. 29-March 1 Austin Area Austin 1st Church Rodney Mill- guest speaker
- April 18-19 Valley Area tba
- May 1-3 North America Greely, Colorado register at www.churchplanterxchange.com
- May 9-10 East Texas Tyler
- June 9-14 North America Seed’s at Andrew’s University
- September 26-27 San Antonio Fil-Am International Church
- October 17-19 Texas Burleson Church Russell and Cynthia Burrill
- November 7-8 Houston Houston Central Church
- November 16 San Antonio Lay Planter’s Recognition Event
The website for Texas Conf Church Planting resources is http://txscchurchplanting.netadventist.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1