Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FAQ's About Our New Church

Here is a little update about our new church in Toledo, OH...

When will your church start?
We are anticipating the Fall of 2014

What on earth takes a year to start?
The church planting process generally takes 12-18 months to fully prepare and plan.  Sometimes the organization you are working with does a lot of this work upfront and the planter comes in and runs with the plant.  For us, we are fully hands on deck, in the trenches, getting dirty with every detail. 

Are you all working with an organization?
We have skirted around this question in the past due to minor details and what not, but we feel safe now spilling the beans...we are working with an organization called Stadia {click the name to learn more!}.  We still have to sign one more document to make it official, but it's pretty much official. 

Why Stadia?
I {Kate} will do my best to answer from my point of view, Eric's answer may differ, but since he hasn't started his blog yet, I can answer on mine...
When you feel called to plant a church there are many, many different options you can use to get started.  None of them are wrong or bad, or awesome or right, with anything in life you need to find the right option, or organization that fits you best.  We talked to many different organizations, and we sought a lot of wise counsel from people we trust who have our best interests in mind, and we decided to pursue planting with Stadia.  One of the biggest reasons who chose Stadia is because of a network of churches in Ohio called Kingdom Synergy Partnership {KSP}, and they are associated with Stadia. 

Eric was able to attend a KSP meeting earlier this Spring and he really liked the network and we of course love that all these churches are from Ohio and want to start new churches in Ohio.  A lot of the churches that attend KSP are not church plants or formally involved with Stadia, they are just like minded churches with the Kingdom at the forefront of their mission and vision.

So we love Stadia for many other reasons, but we really fell in love with the KSP network, and we love that their motto is "Making it hard to go to Hell in Ohio."   

How much money does it take to start a new church?
A lot.  Seriously, it does.  That's one thing Eric and I both knew we were not called to do, just start something out of the goodness of our hearts.  We wanted to work with an organization for numerous reasons, one of them being financial.  Stadia/KSP will bring to the table a certain dollar amount and we come to the table with a matching number.  I am not going to lie, it's a big number.  All the money raised will come in over 3 years.  After 3 years we hope our church will be self sustainable.  So a lot of what Stadia/KSP raises comes from a network of churches in the area where the new church will be planted.  And then the money Eric and I raise will come from personal relationships with friends and churches.  If you have any money questions or feel led to support us {personally or if your church wants to}, talk to Eric, he is the financial guru.

Have you started raising money yet?
Funny you should ask that.  From the organization's side as of yesterday, they have raised all of their money!  This is HUGE and straight from God. 

Let me back track a little...When we first talked to Stadia/KSP they were wanting to start something new in Northwest Ohio, but they could never get the details worked out and truthfully, there was no money for any potential projects.  KSP has really done an awesome job getting things started in the Cleveland, Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati area, but nothing has ever developed in Northwest Ohio.  So it's an uncharted territory, a territory that they have been praying for for over 2 years.  Finally they just asked God to send them someone if it was to happen.  I kid you not, we called them soon after that and here we are.  God works in marvelous ways, and always aligns the right paths.  So we knew going into this new plant that we are sorta the NW Ohio guinea pigs, and we also knew there was no network and no money in this area.  We came anyways.  When you feel God calling you and the urgency for the area you just go.  Less than 14% of the people there are connected to a church.  There are over 650,000 people in the metro Toledo area, less than 14% are connected to a church!  Let that sink in...I am not a numbers expert, but those numbers are not good. 

So back to the money...3 weeks ago at a KSP meeting we were formally introduced as the new Toledo planters and they challenged churches at the meeting to step up and get involved.  Greg Nettle {President of Stadia and leader of KSP} just opened up the floor.  I saw him do this at Exponential this year and in 10 minutes they raised enough money to start 2 new churches in Latin America.  So I was at the edge of my seat when he got that look in his eye, and just said, c'mon guys, we have to get on board with this.  In less than 30 minutes we had more than 3/4 of what the network needed to get this plant going.  I was humbly blown away by the generosity shown that day.   
Yesterday we had an informational meeting for churches within a 2-3 hour radius of Toledo to come to and learn more about our plant.  We called any and everyone we knew, and then had those people call their friends.  We had a great turn out and we finished raising what the network needs to get going.  Which is awesome, but more importantly we planted a ton of seeds with the churches and organizations represented there.  We were able to open people's eyes to a whole new world, and a new way of helping out.  That truly was the big win. 

So now that the network has all of its commitments, it's our turn to raise support.  Again, we are looking for 3 year commitments, or one time gifts, or truthfully, anything you want to give :)

What do you do everyday since you haven't started your church?
Everyday looks a little different.  For the most part I am still mom, I homeschool Molly, run her around to games, practices, and lessons.  Eric on the other hand is hard at work making connections, trying to meet people, going to meetings, and doing whatever it takes.  He also is trying to find odd jobs to do during this transition.  Thankfully we are living rent free, but we still have insurance to pay for each month and other expenses.  So he tries to find enough work to cover those, mainly because we don't want to drain our savings.   

When do you plan on moving to Toledo?
Everyday that question gets answered a little differently.  We really want to concentrate on fundraising and then after that we will begin looking.  So my guess would be that we would start looking at houses in November, with hopes of moving into a house in December, early January.  But who knows, that may change tomorrow! 

Hopefully that brings some of you up to speed a bit.  Church planting right now is similar to parenting, you are always busy, but you are not really sure what makes you so busy! 


laura pickett said...

so good to heat about whats going on with you and your family! we are praying and asking God to provide, to give you guidance and peace as you navigate all the craziness of life right now. you and your family are amazing people of God!

Zion said...

This has been some really great behind the scenes information. I know about the church running side of things from being in full time ministry, but we never started something from the ground up. God bless you guys!