In the past, it’s always been, “Let’s begin to develop a launch team, and bring people together.” And you just couldn’t do that last year. They’ve had to utilize technology a lot more. But they’re seeing the fruit of that. In some regards, it’s made them more laser focused.
For example, if they were trying to have a fundraising conversation with someone and they’re going to go meet them for coffee, they could do a couple of those a week. Now they can do 20-minute Zoom meetings back-to-back, if they want. And they’re seeing a lot of success with that.
I’ve been encouraged by all of it. All the guys have good teams coming together and two of them even got to actually launch their churches on Easter!
In total, there are seven guys in our finishing residency who are all planting in greater Houston.
Now we’re into recruitment for next year, which begins in September for this season.
I don’t want to over-spiritualize things, but I do think there’s an element of the fact that they were called to plant churches. The mission must go on. Even in the midst of all this, we’ve got to figure out ways to move forward.
You have to have a certain amount of tenacity to plant anything. And what I’m seeing as a whole, even throughout the pandemic, for churches that have recently launched, or planters who are in the process of launching, planters who have put their foot on the gas, versus their foot on the brake, have done well. It’s like, “Hey, we’re going to push through this. We’re going to be creative. We’re going to think up new ways of doing ministry.”
I liked the way one recent resident put it: “Crisis is opportunity.” 2020 created new opportunities for the Gospel. Another one of our guys from last year had just finished his residency when the pandemic hit. But now, it’s opened up things globally for him. His church has started groups in multiple countries around the world that he hopes will turn into new church plants.
And what more can we ask for? That’s the goal of everything we do.