Part of my work as Senior Pastor of St. James is launching and mentoring new Missions around the Bay Area and into Northern California. Our goal is to launch between two and five new missions each year. We launched two in our first year and I believe we will meet our goal this year as well. I am not doing this alone of course. There are several people at St. James that participate in this work. Pat Morse has the gift of administration and provides tremendous administrative support for our missions. She is also a consulting webmaster for all of our missions. Our Executive Team, a group of six people, meets monthly to review and guide our efforts. Pat and I are part of this group.
Launching a new mission is quite simply a lot of fun. My greatest challenge has been finding the first one or two households willing to consider trying. As each new mission starts and begins to develop our credibility grows a bit and it gets easier to convince people that launching a new mission is very doable. It also helps that our two existing missions are happy, optimistic, and excited about what God is doing.
I feel like a gardener looking at a the first sprouts peeking through the soil and wondering where the next sprout will appear. Currently I am talking with 7 potential church planters who are at various stages of discernment. Some of them will possibly team up, and together they represent 5 potential new missions. I think two or three of them will begin sometime this fall. Each of them needs to discern the what, when, and where of God’s calling but I am hopeful that some will begin this fall.
It has been interesting to watch each potential planter wrestle with this calling. I count it a privilege to be with them as they work through the unique challenges this calling places on their lives. I look forward, when it becomes appropriate, to celebrating each of these new missions here on Edsblog.