April 19, 2014

We have spent several months now exploring the church planting process. In fact, if we are really honest with ourselves, we’ve been looking into this for almost four years now. And yet… this is the first time I’ve created a blog post about this. I’m not sure that I expected the experience to be “blog worthy”, but now I believe that it is.

Over the past few years, we had some fits and starts as we attempted to unveil God’s plan for our ministry. He has blessed us many times over with friends and family that have joined us for some or all of the journey. Over the past few months, we have established a small core team to help plan and launch this church.

As a group, we have prayerfully considered organizational alignment, why we are here (our Mission), what our future looks like (our Vision), how we will be known (our Name), what we believe (our Statement of Faith), how we will lead (our Godly Leadership Principles), and how we will be different from other churches in our area.

Organizational Alignment

With regard to alignment, we have considered operating as an indepedent entity and have explored a variety of methods and options available to us if we choose that approach. We have also considered alignment with a few different church planting organizations such as HNI (the Harvest Network, International), ARC (the Association of Related Churches), and ECC (the Evangelical Covenant Church).

We continue to pray over this opportunity to partner with a parent organization. We are leaning towards this model with the caveat that we will have prudent local church authority and that we will not be expected to subscribe to organizational pressures that would mandate that we operate in a manner that is inconsistent with Scriptural truth.

At this time, the benefits of working with an organizational parent do appear to outweigh the independent church model.

Mission and Vision

We have drafted a Mission and Vision statement that we believe is aligned with God’s call for our body of believers. They are concise statements that we pray will resonate with new and existing members alike. The Mission and Vision statements will be posted as we continue to mature our plans. Until that time, the core team has unanimously adopted them.

Our Church Name

We truly love the name “God’s Hands Ministries”. There is significant meaning behind this name. However, we don’t see it as the name of the fellowship of believers that we are becoming. We anticipate keeping this name to align with one or more of the ministry programs within the church. We will be establishing a church name sometime soon, but want to be sure that this, too, is bathed in prayer. In addition, as we finalize our decisions regarding organizational alignment, we will vet the Church Name — as well as the Mission and Vision statements — with the relevant partner(s).

Next Steps

Rather than tease anyone further by NOT posting the contents of our Statement of Faith or Godly Leadership Principles, let’s just say that we are every bit as eager to publish these profound statements and perspectives as you might be to read them. So, our next steps include meeting again as a core team to ensure that we’re all in agreement and ready to move forward. Until then, we ask that you pray along with us that this remains a humble, God honoring, Spirit led, Christ centered church body.