Josh Kines is planting Parish Church in Lafayette LA, with their public launch scheduled for this month.
/ 3…2…1…LAUNCH! /
Parish Church is excited about our upcoming public launch! Those that have been a part of a church plant probably don’t remember the significance of the process and timing of launching publicly to the community. The small group Bible study becomes a morning worship service. Vision casting becomes vision implementing. Launch team members, visitors, and innocent bystanders become co-laborers in the process of “doing church”.
We have a building, we have a church planting pastor, we have a music director, we have launch team members, but that is not all that is involved in the process of launching a new church. Granted each of these components are vital to our ability to launch, but there is so much more that has to be done. I thought it would be helpful to hit the high points of what we are currently doing to give you a feel of what is going on in Lafayette, LA among the people of Parish Church PCA.
- The Place of Worship- There is a team of people currently working on turning a hospitality hall into a warm and inviting place for people to gather to worship the Lord. We will be building backdrops, purchasing necessary staging and sound equipment, designing welcome materials and staging an entry point for visitors to be greeted. We are putting together the necessary components to create a safe, comfortable, and inviting nursery for families with little children. We are thinking through signs that need to be set up all around campus to direct traffic and clearly mark where things are so that people don’t feel lost in the intimidating process of trying out a new church. That’s not to mention the need of a pulpit, communion trays, offering plates, and other basic necessities. If you have never been a part of a “portable church” scenario you haven’t lived!
- The Parts of Worship- I am also busy at work planning the sermon series we will get started with in August. We will advertise to the community around this series in order to create buzz and beg the question concerning who we are and what we are all about. I am also working through the various elements of worship that will make up the service including regularity and structure of communion, structure and flow of the liturgy, and overall ethos of the service. I am also working with our music director to establish the musical components of the service for the first three months. Nothing is more enjoyable about this process than the preparation for and participation in the corporate worship of our God.
- The People of Worship- We are also beginning to work through all sorts of ways to reach the people we hope our launch reaches. I would break this part into three categories:
- advertising- We started this church to reach the unchurched and we believe there are good, practical ways of using media to let them know who we are and where we meet. We will be doing several on-air interviews for radio and television, advertising through Facebook, and publishing articles in several local publications.
- hospitality- If hospitality is rightly understood as receiving and welcoming strangers we believe we have a responsibility to make visitors feel welcome from the time they walk through the front door, to the point they drop off their children in the nursery, all the way through the time they participate in worship. We are working diligently on asthetics, traffic flow, and launch team training in order to eliminate any obstacles for the Gospel when people visit.
- teamwork- We are working diligently to make sure everyone on our launch team has a role and function in this launch process. It is all hands on deck as we head to this important time in the life of Parish Church. It takes every man, woman, and child to pull it off!
We are so excited about the upcoming launch and about what the Lord is already doing by growing our core group. We need your prayers and are grateful for your support.
A few areas that might help you know how to pray for us, in addition to the above:
Our little Bible study is growing. We have been excited to see several new faces on Sunday evening in our Bible study. The most encouraging part about these visitors has been the diversity we are seeing coming through the door. We have seen a broad spectrum of people generationally, racially, ethnically, socio-economically, etc. This has been a helpful reminder to me that the Lord builds His church. My faith is too small and my expectations full of self-serving motives, but the Lord is faithful and He uses the weak and ignorant to confound the strong and the wise.
We are also excited about our new worship facility where we will be meeting on Sunday mornings beginning in mid-July. It is in a very central and strategic part of the city and we are excited about ministry opportunities in and around the site. We are also encouraged about the relationship we are building with the lady who owns the hospitality business run out of the building where we will be meeting. We have already been able to help each other reach our mutual goals in updating/renovating the facility to meet her and our needs. We had a team of 6 guys working together to install paneling in one of the rooms that we will eventually use as nursery space. There is more work to be done, but it was a start to what we hope will be a big help to Lori and the church, both relationally and practically.
Hope Presbyterian Church of Bloomington IN sends this update. Hope was launched four years ago in one of the biggest university towns in the Midwest, along with a simultaneous RUF campus ministry launch. Join Dan and Erica Herron as they share what God has been doing – in Dan’s words : “I’m kind of like a little kid holding up a plant he’s been tending to and caring for, so enamored am I by what is growing into a beautiful, deeply rooted, and fruit bearing local body of Christ. I reeeeaaalllly want to just list in detail all of the great details about what Christ is doing in our midst…but here are a few glimpses…”
Dan Quakkelaar is planting a church in the Brewers Hill area of Milwaukee called Friend of Sinners Church, reaching lost folks who have struggled with addictions or who are needing help re-entering society after incarcerations. Dan tells this story: “”Johnny” was high on pot and had a few drinks in him when he approached the liquor store last Friday night. Four of us were evangelizing…would we be able to communicate the gospel to this man? As it turned out, he communicated the gospel to us. Even more amazing, he has never been to church. How is it he could quote Romans 10:9 for memory, and yet never been to church or in fellowship with another believer? He didn’t even have a Bible of his own!” Click here to read Dan’s full Update. Prayer requests below:
- Evangelism: Please pray for our summer evangelism efforts, including our weekend picnic and preaching ministry in the parks, pub nights, and partnership with other evangelists (like Nicki Cruz) who will be in Milwaukee this year.
- Violence: There has been much violence in Milwaukee, including several homicides in the neighborhoods FoS is evangelizing. Pray for safety
- Worship location: Pray for investors and donors willing to help acquire the church that is available in Brewers Hill in Milwaukee
Chris Holdridge, planting New City Fellowship Beechwood in Rochester NY after several years of laying a ministry foundation in this struggling neighborhood, reports: “We have had an amazing first 4 weeks of worship at NCFB and are praising God for all of the blessings we’re experiencing! It really is a time of refreshing for many of us who have been waiting so long to be able to worship together in the neighborhood. The last month has been filled with great worship, prayer, and fellowship. Attendance was high our first week, which is to be expected with many visitors; we had about 50 people.” Read Chris’s full update here, including some ways you can pray for this new work.