Dear friends in Jesus Christ,
I am writing to each of you pastors and ruling elders (clerks of session) on behalf of the men and women on the Project 2028 Commission who lead the church planting effort for our Presbytery. We have the goal of planting five new churches by 2028.
We are asking you specifically to partner in this effort, provide for it financially, and pray for all doing this work. To talk about church planting during Advent is to place it squarely where it belongs: a mission-driven effort built on the commission of Jesus that he laid down at his first coming and banking on him gathering all his people at his second coming. Here are two other convictions we stand on:
- Church planting remains both the biblical plan and a highly effective means for reaching new generations, new residents, and the unchurched
- Church planting helps foster renewal of the whole body of Christ by challenging us with the priority of evangelism and the passion of a kingdom-focus.
You can help us through…
Partnership – Will you ask your session to develop a relationship with one of our planters? Reach out to Ryan Van Horn in the south side of Chattanooga, Chris Manley in the east Chattanooga area, or Matt Koehn (currently a resident at Church of the Redeemer in Alcoa, TN). Matt is six months in and actively researching locations with us and praying about where the Lord might call him to plant. Get to know them and their gifts and needs, pray with and for them, partner with them in giving or some other kind of support, and learn from them throughout the entirety of their church planting journey.
Provision – We created Project 2028 as a trusted place for established churches to consolidate our resources and pool our energy as we partner in the work of church planting. We can do more together than we can alone. We are looking to bring on a second church planting resident in 2022 and are actively recruiting church planters for a growing and changing southeastern United States. The Commission desires to see every church in our Presbytery begin by putting at least 1% of their budget toward planting churches in our Presbytery. Would you consider building that into your budget? Or making a one-time gift here at year end? Beyond these asks, we’re looking for churches to commit $6,000 and send at least one elder to be a member of the Commission.
Prayer – Finally, would you pray with us? We ask your prayers for wisdom and prayerful discernment around where church plants could and should be. We ask that the Lord Jesus will send our local churches on mission into our own communities, making disciples and participating in his work of calling people to himself. And, lastly, we ask that you would pray for church planters we are looking to support who have yet to be called.
These are petitions I borrowed from Bob Roberts (who spoke at GA several years ago) in his efforts to spur us toward multiplying churches: would you pray them with me in this coming year?
- May we see that your kingdom, Lord, is beyond any one single local church, and may those of us that are pastors lead our churches in like manner.
- May our focus be for the love of you, Jesus!
- May our mandate be to equip others to follow you.
- May the fruit of our hands be seen in a viral faith in Christ that is spreading all across our land through churches that are being multiplied for the glory of Christ.
Grace and peace,
PS: we still have two open spots on our commission if you have a ruling elder who is passionate about the gospel and church planting and wants to get involved! Contact me…
Andy Cornett / TE Signal Mountain Presbyterian
Chair, Project 2028