Acadiana Church Planting, Replanting on I-12, Disaster Relief Update, and Other Things from This Week
1. Replanting on I-12
Met with leader of three ongoing Re-Planting projects in Livingston Parish this week.
- The Way Church in Denham Springs was gifted Calvary Baptist Church property. 900% increase in worship service attendance on site in about two years! Planters Scott Cheatham & Josh Spinks.
- Genesis Church in Walker was gifted Agape Baptist. 300% increase in attendance on site since last October! Pray for Planter Jeff Smith.
- The Way Church has been gifted Beech Ridge Baptist. They’ll be launching Bible Studies this Summer & Worship Services in the Fall. Pray for Planter Cameron Gober.
These are three of about 17 ongoing Re-Plant or Multi-site mergers across Louisiana, that have led to 100’s of additional worshippers across our state as healthy systems are put in place to make facilities again fruitful for reaching people. For those having these conversations check out these post:
- When We Can’t Go On: Scenarios for Churches in Need of Radical Revitalization
- Real Life Scenarios of Church Revitalizaiton: Merger & Multisite (The Way & First West Fairbanks)
- From 15 to 175! Another Successful Revitalization (Fellowship Church Airline)
- Church Revitalization Story: The Grove
2. Acadiana Church Planting
Met this week with Lafayette area church planters. Acadiana’s church to population ratio, % of population attending church, evangelical population puts it second to New Orleans as the most in need of new churches. Thinking about planting, consider Acadiana.
3. Louisiana Baptist Missions & Ministry Staff meeting on Wednesday
Heard a great report on the SBC response to the Louisiana Floods.
- 18,000 homes were flooded in Louisiana.
- 3,000+ cleanup / mudout projects have been completed by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers from 30 out of 42 of SBC State Conventions.
- Still ongoing projects in Haughton, Vinton, & North Monroe.
And then the rebuilding starts. Grateful to be a part of a tribe that responds so generously to crisis.
4. I-20 Church Planting
Working with a couple of new works in development in the Monroe/West Monroe area. This area has long been a major player in the tech industry with Century Link, one of Louisiana’s top private sector employers. Now IBM is creating 400 jobs in the region as well. 65% of SBC churches are in North Louisiana, where 30% of our population lives, so it’s not a huge priority in terms of church planting, but new churches are always needed in every community to reach new generations of people & saturate regions with the Gospel. Check out my post Does My Community Need a New Church: The Right Questions & Key Indicators to ask the right questions about your community in terms of the need for new churches.
5. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Finished an incredible book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero this week. I actually started reading The Emotionally Healthy Leader & decided I needed to go back & reach the first one before going further with EHL. Love Hate relationship with this book right now. Tended to meddle. LOL. In a good way. I’ll be processing this book for awhile. Already working on my church going through EHS this summer.
6. Northshore Church Planting
Met with Northshore Baptist Association leaders this week about ongoing work in their region. Five churches being planted this year with four more in development. If all these come to fruition that will mean 25 churches planted since 2000. Great strategy development over the years with Directors of Missions Reggie Ogea & Lonnie Wascom. I’ve been on the ground floor with the strategy development as a Church Planter in this region. Summarized the strategy they’ve used in the post Starting an Associational Church Planting Movement.
7. Vince Smith on Ideas Out Loud
Vince is one of our Central Louisiana Church Planters. He’s planting The Circle Church which just launched in January at Alexandria Senior High School (ASH) & is doing great. He recorded a podcast this week with Justin Bufkin & Matt Tullos with some great insights on the church planting journey, transitioning from church staff to lead pastor, & the importance of a church planting network. Check it out HERE.
8. My community has been rocked this week by two young men committing suicide. It’s led to some soul searching & good conversations in our home about life & death & evangelism. My son Jack will be a freshman at Mandeville High next year. St. Tammany is known as an affluent area, but leads our state in suicides most years. Pray for these families & our community.
9. Another Successful New Orleans Vision Tour
My colleague George Ross, North American Mission Board Send City Strategist for New Orleans, hosted another great group of potential church planting partners for a vision tour in New Orleans this week. These happens about three times each year. Next one is scheduled for September. George has done an incredible job connecting partners to plants in New Orleans. 21% of the population of Louisiana lives in New Orleans. 17 churches have been planted since 2010. History making work going on by our planters there. Keep up with happening with Send New Orleans HERE. Check out profiles of New Orleans Church Planters HERE.
10. Bridge Church this Weekend!
Best Articles I captured in Feedly this week:
- Five Ideas to Prepare Your Small Group Ministry For Summer | SmallGroups.com
- 10 Deadly Church Planting Mistakes | Malphurs Group
- 10 Things You Get When People Follow You Out of Obligation or Admiration | Leadership Freak
- Church Outreach: What Has Worked and What Hasn’t | Rainer on Leadership
- 5 Best Apps for Ministry Productivity | Louisiana Baptists