Anthony graduated in May and, since right around then, the question started popping up in various different forms: What are we doing now that Anthony has “The Degree”? That’s a good question! I haven’t been trying to dodge it, we’ve just been praying and working a lot behind the scenes and I’ve forgotten to post anything here. Sorry!
That’s okay. So what’s up?
Last summer Anthony and I went to England to explore the possibility of helping with church planting there. While we aren’t going to England, we did learn a lot about church planting there and got a chance to observe how a passion for reaching the lost through the gospel, a conviction that the body of Christ grows best through the work of the local church, and a vision and love for the local people make a powerful combination. It was that conviction that led Anthony and I to begin to pray for God to open doors for us to be a part of church planting in Montana.
In September of last year, we began the lengthy prayer, research, and application process to be assessed by the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) Mission to North America (MNA) Church Planter Assessment Center. We were accepted to the center and, in February, we attended and received a provisional recommendation for church planting in Montana. The “provisional” part is because they recommend that Anthony gets some training in some particular areas before breaking out as a planter alone. In the PCA, this training is usually provided in an 18-24 mos. apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship. It’s a fancy word that means Anthony will pursue ordination, shadow and serve an existing church planter, and prepare to launch a new plant. It’s done in these phases and is sometimes called a residency. Sort of like how people in the olden days would train under someone who was really good at something to learn from what they’re doing. But instead of blacksmithing or cobbling, it’s church planting.
Josh Charette at Great Plains Gathering, a plant of Rocky Mountain Community Church, has kindly volunteered to be the planter who Anthony will serve under. We have a flyer outlining more information about the whole thing. You can look at it here.
The short version?
We’re moving to Billings, Montana in August. While there, Anthony will apprentice under Josh at Great Plains Gathering so that, Lord willing, he’ll be equipped to plant a church in Montana in 2 years.
I didn’t actually ask for a short version. Is there a long version?
Hopefully, Anthony and I will be updating this place more often with longer bits about the why we’re going to Montana, why planting, why Billings and more but this was a quick-ish update so you could get an overview on what God is doing.
Cool. How do I pray for you guys?
For now we’re not going to use this space for updates on how to pray for us. Rather, I’ve set up an email list that’s easier to keep up with where Anthony will regularly post ways to be praying for our family and the ministry in Montana. If you’re interested in receiving email updates on how to pray for us, you can sign up for that here.
In the meantime, please pray as we seek God’s will with this new and exciting step, look for committed prayer warriors, and find people and churches who want to financially partner with us as we spread the gospel in Montana.