For the Sake of the World…
April 25, 2016
Though we are only 6 months old, it was a year ago when work begun in earnest on the launching of Jamestown Harbor Church. In those early conversations, as I would ask people to join our launch team, I would sometimes be asked, “How long are YOU planning on leading this church? Will you just plant it and then pass it off? What’s your plan?”
I suppose I had taken it for granted that I was in this for the long haul, but the more I offered that question up to God, the more I heard him speak that, though I was in this for the long haul, many of those who come to our church will not be. God seemed pretty clear about His desire to launch more campuses, churches, and ministries out of this church. And so, I would respond, “I hope to be around long enough to see all of my friends be sent on to something else for the sake of the gospel.”
It isn’t surprising to me, then, that the first two people I ever had conversation with about planting this church are the first two I get to see God call away.
This June, Travis and Jen Radaz will board a plane for Nairobi, Kenya to begin a year-long journey of training and equipping in global church planting with New Thing Network as part of a select cohort of Global Leadership Residents.
Over the past six months, Travis and Jen have been on a journey of discernment and seeking for God’s direction in this opportunity and felt His calling confirmed as they were selected as the only North American representatives in this cohort.
They’ll spend their first six months in Africa, and the following six months in Chicago learning how to catalyze leaders in global cities. Following this year training, they’ll be invited to move to a global city and launch a new network of church plants. Obviously, this is a big and exciting challenge for them as well as an incredible leadership opportunity!
As a result of this transition, Travis will be leaving Harbor Churches staff at the end of May, but we are excited to stay in relationship with both of them as their sending church. We hope to celebrate their calling and commission them in their sending in worship on May 22, and Travis and Jen will become key partners in our mission offerings over the coming years as we continue to pray for and support them as they plant churches across the globe.
Travis and Jen have an incredible story to share around this journey. Even as I first asked them to help plant in Jamestown with us, they knew God was telling them to “go.” They didn’t know then what or where that meant, and now they are seeing something that they couldn’t even dream of a year ago.
Tonight, as I shared this at our Core Gathering, I was struck by the timing of this calling. I noted that the first year of a church’s life often sets a lot of the values and DNA of the ministry for years to come. While I’m incredibly sad to see two of my closest friends and partners in ministry move on, I honestly can’t think of a better opportunity to send them into, and I am incredible thankful that our church can practice our commitment to sending by commissioning two of our very best and most loved leaders to make sure more people get help Finding Their Way Back To God.
And He said to them,
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”