Archive for January, 2016
On Monday night, January 18, we hosted an Info Meeting for anyone interested in learning about DSC’s next church plant, Christ Church. Nathan Sherman, our present Youth and Family Minister, will be the lead planter for this effort. Here’s an FAQ that Nathan put together for us in follow up to the Info Meeting, in case you missed it or need a refresher:
1. I missed the Informational Meeting. Can I listen to the audio?
Yes, you can listen to the audio here.
2. Wait, I heard Clint Moore is going with Christ church too. Is that true?
Yes, that’s true. Clint Moore will also be joining Nathan as a second staff elder. This was a grueling and difficult decision for Clint and Joanna, as they wrestled through both their excitement for church-planting on the one hand, and their love for Desert Springs on the other. In the end, it was their love for DSC that actually energized their decision to be sent out by it—they desire for the theology and mission of DSC (“spreading God’s glory broader and deeper”) to find more outposts around the city and the world.
3. Where will it be located?
We are excited to be planting in the downtown area, where we will meet in the afternoons at The Cathedral of St. John Episcopal. While in the past, there has been a large-scale flight from the downtown area of people and churches, it seems that there is a downtown revitalization beginning. Businesses, restaurants, bars, and shops are returning, as well as a grocery store, condos, and apartments to support the number of people who are moving back (see here). Our desire is for more gospel-preaching churches to be in this area to minister to the growing life of the city there.
4. What will be similar to DSC about Christ Church?
- Commitment to Expositional Preaching through books of the Bible
- Children’s Ministry philosophy
- Plurality of Elders
- A high and serious view of membership
- Missions (ongoing support of SNAP as well as partnerships, at some level, with Native America and the Achi)
- Community Group ministry
- Mission and Vision (spreading God’s glory broader and deeper through worship, community, and mission)
- Regional network affiliation with The Gospel Coalition
5. What will be different than DSC about Christ Church?
- Time – Because we will be tenants of The Cathedral of St. John, our corporate gathering will meet at 5 pm on Sunday evenings
- Church service – a higher liturgy with a weekly call to worship, corporate confession of sin and profession of faith, Scripture reading, preaching, communion, and benediction
- No Men’s/Women’s/Youth ministries – though we will not have structured ministries in these areas, we will still do ministry to men, women, and youth, primarily through the context of our community groups and personal discipleship
- Denominational affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention
6. What are good reasons to want to go?
- The Great Commission – if you are convinced that the primary means of Kingdom expansion is church planting, then you should be excited about Christ Church. Most will stay and some will go, but The Great Commission (evangelism and discipleship) should be the primary motive for wanting to be part of this plant—everything else is secondary.
- Love for the Local Church – your love for Desert Springs should fuel a desire for more outposts like it around the city
- Ownership of something new and growing – perhaps you have an entrepreneurial spirit and love to see new things begun for the glory of God. One word of caution is needed, though: at some point Christ Church will no longer be new—it will become an established and aging church.
- Geography – perhaps you live, or work, or play in the downtown area and have been longing for a gospel community presence there
7. What are not so good reasons to want to go?
- Just to be part of a small church (Lord willing, we will not remain small)
- Running from conflict at DSC
- Problems with leadership at DSC
- Desire for more church leadership or a power grab
- A feeling of under-appreciation at DSC
- Looking for a fresh start or a jump start in your Christian walk
- You just really like Nathan or Clint
- Preferential issues (cookies, music volume, the style or fashions at DSC, etc.)
8. What will it cost us to leave?
- While we aren’t leaving the country, relational dynamics with long-term friends, family, community groups, children’s friends, pastors at DSC will all change
- The commute to downtown could get old
- For four months of the year, we will be worshipping during afternoon and evening football games (including the Super Bowl)
- As a church plant, Christ Church will not be the polished, well-oiled machine that DSC is
- All hands must be on deck, and not just for setup and teardown for a couple of hours on Sundays (which will be minimal). But in Sunday worship and community group attendance; in service to the church (children’s ministry), in evangelism and discipleship, and in giving. In a larger church, it is easier to think that others will pick up the slack—this can’t be with a church plant.
9. What should I do if I’m considering wanting be a part of the Core Team?
Email Nathan (email@example.com) or Clint (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express interest; or pick up a handout at the Christ Church kiosk on Sundays and drop the tear-off in one of the offering boxes. Interest must be communicated by this Sunday, January 31, so that Nathan and Clint can begin scheduling individual meetings throughout February and March with those considering planting.
10. What is the timeline for launch?
After all interviews with those interested are completed, the DSC elders will review the list and form a Core Team that will be most strategic for both Christ Church and DSC. The Core Team will be notified by mid-April and asked to give a firm commitment by May 1. Beginning in early-August, the Core Team will begin meeting together on Sundays for closed services to solidify the DNA and vision of Christ Church, followed by a full-public launch in mid-November.
As Christians, we have a dual citizenship. We belong to heaven, and yet we also belong here. This dual citizenship puts us in a kind of awkward position. Our ultimate allegiance is to our King, who is Christ. And yet Christ commands of us a certain allegiance to imperfect human authorities. For example, just this Sunday in Ron Giese’s sermon, “Engaging the World,” we heard from Titus 3:1, where Paul exhorts us to “be submissive to rulers and authorities.”
So, what does Christian citizenship look like under a government with rulers who promote and protect the taking of life and not life itself?
John Piper has been a steady guide on questions like this. In his recent post, “How Pro-Life Christians Honor a Pro-Choice President,” Piper gives us eight answers to our question. Here they are:
1. Humble ourselves.
2. Acknowledge God’s image, wherever we find it.
3. Acknowledge the institutions God has established.
4. Honor laws not conflicting with Christ’s lordship.
5. Resist withdrawing into isolation.
6. Oppose injustice and unrighteousness with non-violence.
7. Expect straightforward answers from leaders.
8. Trust the sovereign, loving purpose of God.
Click here to read his explanation of each answer.