Posts Tagged ‘church planting’


It’s the end of July already and Kristine and I are on the last days of our two week vacation to Minnesota that has been all but a vacation. We have enjoyed being here with family and friends; it has been a huge blessing and wonderful catching up with everyone, but we are going need a few days off to catch up on sleep when we get home.

It hasn’t been a vacation. I have put on over 2,000 miles on Joyce Jarvinen’s Honda Pilot and every night has been very late and most mornings very early, along with speaking at five Sunday services.  God has opened doors to five new churches that are becoming partners in one way or the other too. Please pray with us that they would catch the vision and partner with us in one or more of the following ways.

  1. Prayer – Which is powerful and effective.
  2. Financially helping us reach our goals laid out below.
  3. Traveling and working along side us with teams from their home church/city.
  4. Advocacy – Telling others the Epic Life story and helping us expand our network.
  5. Relocating- People who would love to be living on the Edge and move to Seattle to help the Church planting process.

On October 4th we are planning on publicly launching Epic Life Church. This will be big stuff and is setting up a couple of very busy months. I have put together a list of things we will need to make this work.

Sound system and Lighting  –  $8,000
Children’s ministry – $4,000
(2) Video projectors  – $4,000
Covering rent for a year  –  $12,000
(2) new computers – $4,000
Marketing/Advertising/Branding – $10,000
Signage and printed materials – $2,000
Food and Coffee – $1,000
A Saturday Carnival – $8,000
A website – $1000
Windows in the acquired building – (6) at $1200 each
Prayer as we personally touch thousands of homes and 40,000 people in some way throughout the month of September with many community focused events, advertising, gifts and blessings.

I believe that we are the road to seeing hundreds of people show up on the 4th of October. I feel like the area of Seattle in which we are ministering has an incredible void of Christian influence, so much so that when we “open” Epic Life publicly it will be like a vacuum. I am believing God for very big things.  Will you pray with us as we increase our faith together?

Thank you.

We are working with the Seattle Church Planting Network under the direction of Gary Irby and have gotten a few opportunities to sit and learn from him. He has been in this position for eight years and previously a church planter himself. Inside of the past eight years 80 churches have been planted in the Seattle/Tacoma area, the vast majority being in suburbia. We hosted him in Winona for a dessert to which we had 70 people come to hear him speak about planting churches and more importantly planting churches in Seattle. It was a great night.

This week I am at the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, to try networking with other planters and hopefully to find some partners who will support the church in Seattle.

Gary Irby is here also.  I am amazed at how many people know him and respect him. Everyone I speak with about church planting including Ed Stetzer, the author of several books on church planting and now research, knows who Gary is and even more holds him in high regard.  We are getting the opportunity to work with and learn from a man who is highly respected by the world of church planters.

Thank you God for bringing us to this network of church planters with great leadership.

Morning came all too soon but leaping out of the Comfort Inn’s sheets was effortless because of the promise of an amazing day, and we needed to be North of the city by 8 am. An offering of an apple and a cup of yogurt was well accepted by the digestive juices of a grateful stomach; a sacrifice that was just enough to hold the grumblings until mid-morning fodder could be immolated to the “god” of the digestive system.

We stepped out into the fog; fog that was so thick we did the back float across the parking lot to our not so pimped out gray Charger. We jumped onto Interstate 5 and then North on 99, through Seattle and the North communities, at which time we knew nothing about, little did we know that we were driving past our future.

Where would we start this morning? Well, to answer that we must step back about four days. Thursday the previous I had an 11 am phone conversation appointment with Gary Irby, the Southern Baptist Church Planting lead guru in the Pacific Northwest. He and I had exchanged several emails but that Thursday we were going to talk about my upcoming vision trip and decide on a place to start. That morning Kristine awoke with the name Aurora on her lips. She asked me, “Is there an Aurora in Washington?” I wasn’t sure so we looked it up on Google Earth – a sweet program – and found out that there was an Aurora street and by the looks of the satellite map Google so generously offered it ran through a city north of Seattle called Shoreline. In her dream she was riding a broken bike down a steep hill towards water past older homes with wavy glass around an Aurora.

Aurora in SeattleGary Irby and I decided that we would start in Shoreline at a Starbucks on Aurora Avenue. So that foggy morning was where we got our first shot of Starbuck’s coffee, actually not the best coffee I have ever tasted, but we filled up, prayed and hit the streets.  Gary showed us everything that he could. We drove through cities, suburbs, neighborhood, parks, and even a few parking lots. He knew the city pretty well and knew the right people in the communities and knew how many churches were present and how many were shutting down. He’s the one who told us that only 1% of Seattlites attend a church. That’s staggering news.

We drove through Shoreline, but it just didn’t feel right to us. Not sure why, but we weren’t drawn to it. So he took us through Seattle’s communities; like Ballard, Fremont, The U District, Capitol Hill, more coffee, Greenlake, Greenwood, Magnolia, Wallingford, Bell Town, Lake Union, Central District, International District, and more I am sure. Each of these communities have an extremely unique ethos that the residents are proud of and will fight for. It’s a wonderful collage of creative humanity that when seen from space screams out, “We are Seattle!”

Somewhere during our royal tour of the city we inconspicuously passed through the community of Queen Anne Hill. We drove north out of the Theater District just past the Space Needle and up Queen Anne Avenue. The car took a slight left slant in the road as we breached the crest of the hill and as time slowed down we felt our hearts jump with the calling of a city. As Shoreline didn’t feel right, Queen Anne Hill did feel right. Brandon and I looked at each other with that one look that people look when you just know something but can’t quite get the English language to discover the right words to fill the void.

Check out the entry at for more information on Queen Anne.

That night after we dropped Gary off with many thank yous we found our Charger parked down the street from the Ale House on Queen Anne Avenue in Queen Anne Hill. The burger was fabulous at the Ale House, their chef put just the right amount of “medium” on the beef. We sat. Talked. Dreamed. About a church that would be more about their community, meeting in a home and caring for each other, and then coming together to worship on the weekend.

The waitress, Maria, asked us what we were doing in Seattle after she found out we haled from the Midwestern states. So we told her that we were on a journey to discover where we should plant a church.  She said, “Hm, That’s cool, I guess. I don’t go to church, I’d like to take my seven year old daughter some day though.” Then she said, “Wouldn’t it be great if the church was about being a community, like in a house, and caring for those right around them?”

Brandon and I could just look at each other as she, a non-believer, explained the church that God was calling us to start.

In Queen Anne Hill? It felt so right, but in the back of my head was Kristine’s dream – and Aurora was in Shoreline.

We ended the night back at Tony Jandas in Renton, with whom we talked about Christ’s kingdom on earth and more specifically in Seattle deep into the night. This is a man who is pleading with God to save his city. How often do you get to be in the presence of  a man who will shed tears for his city?

I fell asleep that night in a city that I felt was calling me, maybe even wooing me.

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