Dean and Elizabeth Faulkner are planting their second PCA church, South Charlotte Presbyterian Church, which “exists to embrace believers and skeptics alike, so that together we may be transformed into a people who honor Christ, love others well, and impact the communities of South Charlotte with the Gospel”. Click here for an update including prayer requests.
Here is a quick update for prayer for SCPC and the Faulkners…
1. SCPC is hosting several outreaches over the next month or so, including in a brand new development that literally surrounds the school we meet in. We personally invited the neighbors to come with door to door visits last week (I know – old school). The thing is, the folks we talked with were easily 2/3rds Asians (Indian and Chinese). We are hopeful to connect with the South Asian community and professionals that is new and growing in Ballantyne. We also are encountering more growth in our Atheist/Agnostic/all kind of worldviews group. Each month we have people asking to sit in above our Meetup group limit – it doesn’t hurt to have big questions like – why is there suffering? is there such a thing as truth? They report that the spirit of our group is very different than other groups – that the Charlotte Atheist groups tend to be too dogmatic. 🙂
My own outreach has been fun too. A Story – A few months ago, Eliz and I had dinner with a former non-christian neighbor along with his wife. Brian mentioned he would like to start walking again – even if we travel a little back and forth. So we started walking. Then a few weeks in Brian said – so about the Bible – what’s with all the translations? We chatted for a little while. Then I asked him – has anyone ever read through the Bible with you? He said, not really. I said – let’s do this. let’s read one chapter of John and talk about it as much or as little as you want on each walk. He said – sure! So, we got to chapter 1. I asked him what he thought anticipating Jesus as God issues. He said this – “I was reading about how Jesus’s people didn’t notice him when he came. I can’t help but wonder if he’s here and I’ve missed him.” Yep, Jesus is working.
Pray for these and other outreaches in the church – that we build relationships and the Lord starts to harvest his own. Pray particularly for Friday with our neighbors and for Brian and his unchurched family.
2. We have had a little growth spurt of late with new year move ins. As I’ve stated in the past, we also have an unusual amount of Christian leader types showing up. We see this as an opportunity to lead leaders and create a culture of leadership in “healthy spirituality.” We also see this as an opportunity to help believers grow , heal and, yes, repent. One young leader admitted to me recently that he has served in a lot of churches as a leader but has never really had a pastor lean in and call him to new growth and discipleship. Thanks be to God (and it doesn’t always happen this way), he and his wife are growing in their marriage in redeeming ways because of Christ and intentional heart discipleship.
South Charlotte is full of churches that are super broad but not very deep. My hope is that SCPC can have the healthy balance of home and mission as we can offer something that is both broad and deep in the gospel of Jesus. Pray that we would be faithful to disciple the found so they grow in following Christ in their marriages, their vocations and this mission.
3. Elizabeth continues to improve in her health. She has more energy, generally. She is in the last leg of radiation therapy which results in almost daily bouts of fatigue. The prognosis is still really good with her biopsy reports pointing to lower and lower recurrence rates (from 25% to below 10% according to the stats).
Elizabeth is ramping up her creativity with new paintings. She is humming with her gifts and has started co-teaching a new women’s group that is off to a great start (with people outside the church coming).
I am doing fairly well after a hi-stress and occasionally dark season with Elizabeth’s cancer fight. God’s love has been renewing. I have been dwelling on his sovereign hand as we wind down the fight. That he’s sustained me/us and this baby church in a really challenging season is praiseworthy. I think he’s been growing deep roots of new growth in us and in this church. What do you know, we came to SCPC and Ballantyne to grow leaders and we end up having to do the growing. Glory to our Lord in this strange and wonderful ride called church planting ministry.
Pray for this last push for Elizabeth. Praise God for his sovereign grace and love with this church and with us, the Faulkners.
Love to all of you,