Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Multiplying Church - A Thought-Provoking Read

The Multiplying Church: the new math for starting new churches - by Bob Roberts Jr.

In this book Bob Roberts chronicles much of what they have been doing in their journey of planting more than 100 churches from within their own church. Challenges include: not doing informational discipleship, but, rather doing transformational discipleship; and church-planting needs to start with society in view, not the church - the thought of the Church's role not just transforming individuals, but whole communities as well.

This is a great read for any pastor or church leader who wants to see their own church become an effective church-planting church, or for any planter preparing to plant.

Updates In My Church-Planting World

It has been a little while since I have had the chance to blog. Today, I intend to update a little of what I have been up to. Here's a quick overview (report if you wish) of many of the current activities we have been working on:

Just In - Altoona calls Mark Petras. Crossroads Community Church (a church-plant/restart) has just unanimously called Mark Petras to be their planter/pastor and Mark has accepted. Mark and Kendra will be moving from Chicago in April. This church-plant could use 6 months to 1 year of financial support as they re-establish their work there. We are encouraging any Pennyslvania Ev. Free church who could take Crossroads on as a mission for the next 6 months to one year to do so. They have a wonderful facility, and a good group of people and now a pastor. We want to help them get off the runway and high into the air. Contact Mark at 630-863-2570 or at Or contact lead elder, Dave Pullen at 814-693-6775 or at

Jason & Janeen Oesterling (iKon Church, Medina, OH) - after several months of traveling between Columbus, Amherst and Medina, Jason and Janeen will be moving to Medina in April. Jason has been working 2 days a week at Trinity EFC developing small-groups, and spending the rest of his time developing iKon's strategy and core-group. They will be moving in April. Pray for the sale of their home in Columbus which has been listed in this sluggish market. Contact Jason at 330-410-3445 or at

Nate & Teri Childers (Boardman, OH) - Nate and Teri have worked diligently through our assessment process and will be attending our Bootcamp in Kansas City at the end of this month. They have traveled a few times from St. Louis to Boardman to meet with prospective core group people and some local pastors. Nate has secured at job with Mathias Media. Following Bootcamp, they will have written their Ministry Action Plan (MAP) and should be ready for final approval as an EFCA church-plant. They have been impressive in their diligence. Contact Nate at 618-567-9594 or at

Alex & Jennifer Ielase (Mt. Washington - Pittsburgh, PA) - over the past year Alex has worked diligently at completing our recommendations given to him following our assessment last year. During this time he and Jennifer have completed our Bootcamp and have written their (MAP), they are now ready for approval as an official EFCA Church-Plant. Contact Alex at 412-352-8876 or at

Dan & Teresa George (Dunkirk, NY) - in the next few weeks Dan and Teresa will be completing our assessment process. Due to timing, Dan has already completed our Bootcamp in November, and he has taken several recommendations and placed them into practice.

Dansville Community Church (Dansville, NY - Joe Becker & Derek Wadsworth) - Pray for DCC as they grow their core group and seek to secure their first facility outside of their homes. Contact Joe at 585-278-0643 or at or Derek at 585-991-3951 or at

CORE Community Church (Shelby, OH - John & Lisa Stevens) - CORE has grown to nearly the 200 mark and is in serious need of bigger facilities. Pray for them as they weigh several good options (some of which must be decided in the next few weeks). Pray for their 2 services on Easter and anticipated record crowds. Contact John at 419-571-6050 or at

Crew Community Church (Huntington, WV - Josh & Sarah Perry) - pray for the Perry's as they sell their home in Barboursville and move into Huntington. The church continues to grow. Contact Josh at 304-733-3902 or at

Bigelow Church (Portsmouth, OH - Frank Tallerico & Brian Evans) - pray for this independent church as they consider a church-planting partnership with the Allegheny District. Contact Frank at or Brian at

Trading Post 317 (Buffalo, NY - Mike & Kristie Krantz) - pray growth at Trading Post. Pray for the several people who have trusted Christ over the past year to continue to grow in their faith and knowledge in Christ. Contact Mike at 716-908-4423 or at

John & Kristine Meaux (Cleveland Area) - pray for John and Kristine Meaux as they seek employment and housing as they prepare to move from Chicago to Cleveland. They will most likely plug-in with Providence Church as they begin their planting process. They have gone through assessment and bootcamp. Contact John at 847-421-1543 or at

Larry James (Euclid, OH) - Larry is an African American brother with a church-plant. We are coming alongside of Larry and possibly others in the African-American Community (with Larry's help) to bring training and support to their already-existing ministries and consider further partnerships with the EFCA. While pastoring his church-plant and working for ATT, Larry is also attending Cornerstone (Mayfield Heights). Contact Larry at 216-246-7605 or at

Alfredo Marquez (Cleveland) - Alfredo is a hispanic brother interested in developing outreach to hispanics in the Cleveland area. He attends Providence Church. Pray for the unfolding of this opportunity in the days ahead.

Oberlein, OH - Trinity EFC in Amherst is preparing a team of people for the eventual planting of a new church in Oberlein, OH. Contact Pastor Arnie Fleagle at 440-985-2419 or at

Other Contacts: We are in the beginning phases of Discussion with Andy Albertini from Charleston, WV, Thomas Richards from Martinsburg, and Max Ulderridge from Warren, OH.

6 Attending the Exponential Church Conference in Orlando - 6 people from our district will be attending the in Orlando April 21-25. This is the premier Church-Planting Conference in the Country. If others would like to go, hit the link above to register and contact Jim to let him know. Currently slated are: Jim Culbertson, Stu White, Josh Perry, John Stevens, Jason Oesterling, and Larry James.