As I write this, I am in Minnesota helping to train church planters. I am a coach for church planters, meaning that I am there to pray, support, and advise church planters as they follow God’s mission and start a new church. I love being around church planters – there is an energy and passion for practically living out God’s dreams. They also have a huge heart for reaching out to people who do not know Christ or have a church to call home. It is energizing!
Every church started as a church plant. Covenant Grove was started nine years ago from Modesto Covenant Church. A group of people were sent out to reach new people. They believed that starting a new church would reach new people in new ways – and they were right! Multiplication beats addition.
Covenant Grove has touched thousands of lives. Some people have come to our church for one day, others for a few months. Some have been a big part of our church family and then moved to a new town. And some have stayed part of our church family and are driving the mission of God forward. We are the church together, we are doing God’s work together, and we are growing!
God is growing our church so much that we are running out of space, and we are getting ready to raise money (called a capital initiative or campaign) to expand our facilities. We don’t only want to expand our facilities, though. We believe the Lord has called us to give 10% of the money raised to make a difference beyond the buildings. We want to use 10% of the money raised to plant a new church and give to a mission project. We are expanding our facilities to facilitate expanded ministry – we are going to reach more people’s lives! We are also going to start a new church to reach more people in more places.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Did you catch that? Read it again, and take it to heart as a promise. God is about to do something new at Covenant Grove. If you are reading this, I want to invite you to be a part of it – through prayer, through giving, and through participation. What I have found, on this church planting adventure, is that when we step out and get uncomfortable in following Jesus, our lives are grown and blessed in greater ways than we could have ever imagined. Here we go!