Hey friends, greetings from Austin. It’s been six months since I last wrote, so it’s high time I catch you up, both on a personal and church/work level. You might want to grab a cup of coffee or a beer (I’ve got mine). First, Malachi is doing extremely well. You may recall that he had two major surgeries this past summer – first in May to remove his colon, then again in July to reconnect the new “semi-colon” that doctors had fashioned from his small intestine. Not what you look forward to as a 28 year old. And he’s still got autoimmune hepatitis, celiacs, and PCS liver disease to deal with. But he no longer has colitis! He has recovered remarkably well, and he and Jordan are neck deep in the life of the church again (more on that in a moment). Right now, however, he’s taking a month-long sabbatical to hunt and fish in […]
February 2019 Newsletter 2019 Capital Campaign In 2019, we are striving to fundraise $200,000 for the advancement of church planting-churches. This capital will allow us to develop resources to help churches plant exponentially stronger churches! We hope that you will commit to partnering with us towards this end! 2019 Calendar Events Presbytery in Memphis, Tennessee: May 3-4, 2019 Church Planter’s Assessment: August 6-9, 2019 Church Planter’s Retreat: Fall 2019 Presbytery in Scottsdale, Arizona: October 3-4, 2019 Church Planters Assessment We are planning our official church planters assessment weekend in Denver, CO on August 6-9. If you or your organization have individuals or couples that you would like to have assessed for church planting, please contact email@example.com. We would be thrilled to support you in your effort to produce church-planting churches!
Introduction My purpose here is to offer some thoughts about the changing landscape of church-planting, in light of the ever-changing cultural context of US cities. There are three factors that contribute to this changing landscape. 1) Increasing secularization 2) Changing sensibilities regarding social interaction that cause people to move toward the city. 3) Sociological realities that prompt people to move out of the city. I. Increasing Seculariation Barna research reports that 50% of Americans are post-Christian. 36% of Americans report themselves to be practicing Christians (This includes Catholic, Mainline Protestant, Charismatics), while 40% report themselves as non-practicing Christians. One obvious implication is that there are fewer people filling pews. If only 36% of the population self reports as “practicing Christian,” then number of “evangelical practicing Christians” is small. As many regions and urban centers of the country are more secular than the national average, the number of evangelical practicing Christians decreases yet again. Couple this with […]
As we continue to plant churches in major cultural centers throughout the U.S., we lean heavily on a collection of church planting resources. Though every context requires special resources, we gathered some of our favorite resources for every beginning church planter. These seven resources will help your church plant hit the ground running! 1. Church Planting Networks First, we believe that church planting networks are crucial to the work of the kingdom. Without this invaluable church planting resource, your church plant stands the high-risk of being left without the sustenance, community, and encouragement it needs to survive. While there are plenty of networks to consider (Acts 29, V3, Church Multiplication Movement, etc.), only the Aspen Grove Church Planting Network is able to provide a helpfully connected and effectively lead network. Also, we believe in casting the theological tent broadly with a strong center of reformed catholicity and soft edges. This is a helpful model for […]
Kylie Ray Tesalona slid into the world nine seconds after 2017 clocked in as the new year. That made her the first baby born on U.S. soil in the new year. People on tiny Guam were ecstatic. Her parents, Mina and Allen Tesalona, considered her a miracle. Kylie’s grandparents flew all the way from the Philippines to celebrate. A local bank donated $500 for a future college fund. It seemed the entire community poured what riches and love it had into Kylie’s life. In our church in Littleton, a lovely, elderly widow sews a quilt for every baby born or adopted to our congregation. People visit and provide meals. Then some time later, we officially welcome the child into the community through the sacrament of baptism and invite the child to be loved by God through her family and the congregation. In so doing, we dedicate ourselves to lives of loving God and neighbor in […]
No living organism can grow indefinitely. Most churches slow or stop growing in years five through ten. And most go into decline around year forty.
Want to know why we’re called the Aspen Grove Church Planting Network? This helpful video explains how aspen groves work, which looks a lot like how the church should look.
by Ed Stetzer from Christianity Today Most people know me I love church planting. I’ve done extensive research on the topic, written books about it and even planted churches. In addition to my love for church planting, however, I also love established churches. I’m as passionate about church revitalization as I am about church planting. While some may see the two as mutually exclusive, I’m most excited about where the two overlap: churches planting churches. Pastors of established churches should be engaged in church planting. Here are five reasons why. Church planting reaches lost people. The first reason is simple. It’s one on which, hopefully, all pastors – both planters and established can agree. Lost people need Jesus. This is one that hits me personally, because I grew up in a non-Christian family. Most of my extended family members are not believers. Recently, however, two of my family members have met Christ through church plants. […]