Posts Tagged church planting

Why Join Redemption Church?

Yesterday we announced that Second Mile is joining Redemption Church and becoming the Redemption Gateway Campus. The most common and natural question about it is “Why?” This brief video explains four of the key reasons:

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Second Mile is Becoming Redemption Church Gateway!

After much prayer and discussion, the elders of Second Mile Church are delighted to announce that we are becoming Redemption Church Gateway. This means that we will be part of the new multi-site movement in Arizona known as Redemption Church.

I’ll be posting soon with more details about this move, but for now just take a look at a vision video we put together:

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Planting a Missional Church in the Suburbs (Audio)

I recently had the opportunity to lead a breakout session for the Acts29 Phoenix Bootcamp on “Planting a Missional Church in the Suburbs.” In case you’re interested in what I had to say, you can listen to it here. You can also download a PDF of the notes I handed out here.

Additionally, you can get all the audio from the various sessions here.

My top 3 were Matt Carter on Mission, Jeff Vanderstelt on the gospel, and Wayne Grudem on Theology.

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Remembering 2 Births, 2 Years Ago

Two years ago was a pretty crazy time in the life of the Simmons family and of Second Mile Church.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 was our first of three monthly Preview Worship Gatherings at ASU Poly. Our faithful launch team of 60 was inviting friends, preparing to serve, and excited about this big step for our new church. We had a set-up run through scheduled for Saturday night, the 25th.

On Friday the 24th our trailer arrived from Portable Church Industries, filled with most of the equipment we would need in order to conduct this public gathering. By the way, I would never try to plant a church without using PCI. It was one of the best investments we made.

Sandwiched in the middle of all of this was the birth of my second child, Caitlin. She was due on October 20th, so we had figured that we’d have plenty of time to get her home, get settled, and get ready for the church gathering — after all, most second children come early. But not Caitlin. By the time the weekend came, we were still waiting for her. I started making backup plans in case I’d have to miss the first gathering, and it was a pretty wild time.

My wife, Molly, woke up on Saturday and knew that Caitlin was coming. We waited as long as made sense and then, as I was preparing to drive the trailer over to ASU, Molly said it was time to go. So I dropped the trailer off, handed the keys to John Kronwald and said, “We’re gonna go have a baby. Hope to see you tomorrow.”

Caitlin was born around 10:25pm Saturday night in good health with no complications. The next morning I woke up, went down to the hospital cafeteria to pray and run through my sermon notes, and then headed off to our first gathering.

It was a memorable Sunday. Joel Buckingham led worship. JT Trottier shared his “God Story.” Charlie Jolly read the Scripture. I taught on “Jesus’ Prayer for Glory” as part of our Jesus’ Prayer for His Church series. 177 people showed up.

But the most memorable part of the morning was probably the 100 dozen donuts that were delivered. That’s right. 100 dozen (apparently our order for 100 donuts got lost in translation).

After the gathering, I headed back to the hospital, introduced Abby to her little sister, and spent the day resting and rejoicing with Molly.

Two years later, I’m amazed at all that God has done. My little girl is two, and our little church has grown significantly. What an incredible blessing.

Happy birthday Caitlin!


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What I Learned at the Seattle A29 Boot Camp

Last week I spent a fun couple of days in Seattle for the Acts29 National Bootcamp. It was packed with lots of teaching (almost too much), many great conversations, and the opportunity to help assess a number of potential church planters. Here are a number of the key lessons from this experience that might be worth sharing:

  • “Your calling as a church planter / leader is mostly tested in your emotional life” (Darrin Patrick).
  • “Whatever meaningful help people receive they will use to help others” (Tim Lane). This is why helping people with the gospel in the context of the local church is so effective. If people are helped, they will help others.
  • “You don’t really know how somebody is growing as a disciple until you pray with them” (Jeff Vanderstelt).
  • “GL + RR + GC = MI” (Patrick). In other words, Gospeled Life (owning sin but basking in acceptance) + Relational Rent (paying relational price with people) + Gospel Clarity (articulating the gospel) = Missional Impact.
  • “If thou dost call me to resign / What most I prize never was mine / I only yield Thee what is Thine / Thy will be done” (from the song “My God, My Father”)
  • “Most marriages are not set up for a 50-year run. The most important day of your marriage isn’t your wedding day — it’s your last day” (Mark Driscoll)
  • “When you stop repenting, you stop calling others to repent” (Driscoll)
  • “Men shouldn’t make their wives carry their curse” (Driscoll). Here he was talking about the need for men to provide for their families rather than make their wives carry the toil and burden of provision.
  • “Jesus isn’t to blame for the church’s sin, but he takes responsibility for it. That’s what it means to be the head of the family” (Driscoll).
  • “Is your wife flourishing?” (Driscoll)

Another significant lesson for me was that men who want to plant healthy, gospel-centered churches would be wise to spend time IN a healthy, gospel-centered church first. I met a number of men who were in bad church situations and had a vision for something different — but they’ve never seen it first hand. As a result, they really don’t know what it looks like to participate in a healthy church, let alone lead one. This made me so thankful for the amazing years I was able to spend at East Valley Bible Church participating in ministry and serving alongside healthy, godly leaders. I can’t imagine what church planting and leadership would be like without those men and without that experience.

Which of those lessons stand out to you? Any of them need clarification?

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Bootcamps, Baby Churches, and Boys Becoming Men

One of the great joys of my ministry has been participating in the Acts29 Network, a group of churches committed to planting gospel-centered, reformed, missional churches. This week I’m in Seattle for the Acts29 National Bootcamp, where over 500 men will come to be trained, assessed, and encouraged. My role will be to help assess potential church planters, as well as spend some good time with a few guys that I’m bringing along.

The theme for this conference comes from the new book by Darrin Patrick, Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission. I haven’t read the book in its entirety, but what I’ve read tells me that it would be worth reading for any man — not just church leaders. Click here for the table of contents and first chapter.

If you think of it, pray for me this week that I’d be helpful to these men who are ready to make some life-altering decisions related to their ministry, and pray that God would raise up a continual generation of men willing and gifted to plant churches and keep leading the mission.

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Ministry Updates That Need Your Prayer

This past Sunday I shared a brief ministry update that highlighted a few key things we’d like you to pray about:

  1. Long-term ministry facility – We’re praying about God’s direction for a facility that we could use for worship on Sundays and ministry to the community during the week. Pray that God would lead us and provide something above and beyond what we can ask or imagine.
  2. Church-planting – We’re praying about the location, timing and direction of our first church plant. We intend to be a multiplying church that saturates the Southeast Valley with gospel-centered churches and are seeking God’s direction on where to begin.
  3. Leadership Development – In order to use our facility well and send out a healthy team to plant a church, we have to develop more and more leadership. We want to see men and women grow in their understanding of the Bible and their ability to use it in ministry so that many lives can be touched on a daily basis through our ministry. We’ve begun a system for developing leaders, and you can read more about it here. (Right now it’s just for men, but we are quickly exploring how to make this available for women as well).

Will you please join us in praying for God’s direction and blessing in these key areas?

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