It has now been almost a year since Real Life Community approached Katie and I about their passion for planting a new church in Murfreesboro. Real Life is a church that has devoted resources of every kind, from people to finances, in order to respond to the call of God to spread the Kingdom of God throughout the city by planting Blackman Community Church. Yet, even with all the resources that Real Life has sacrificially given, we knew that we would need additional financial support. We also knew that by planting this church we have the opportunity to inspire others to plant churches and do amazing things for the Mission of God.
As soon as I said yes to God’s call and Real Life’s passion for planting the Blackman Community Church I began reading books on church planting, talking to people who had planted churches, and doing all that I could to prepare myself and Real Life for this task. I quickly realized that there was one huge factor that set us apart from many other church plants. Almost all the books about church planters, and websites on church plants, were by independent churches and ministers. These were people that did not belong to a larger body of faith in any organizational way. Therefore, when considering support in prayer, finances, people, and encouragement these churches started with no connections. Immediately, I realized just what a blessing it is to be a part of a larger body. What a blessing it is to be a part of the Church of the Nazarene! We did not start with nothing. We did not start with no connections. We started this journey with a family!
From the beginning this family has been an absolutely essential support system. In February our district helped support us by equipping us. The East Tennessee District Church of the Nazarene sponsored a Dynamic Church Planting International training. They began praying for us and spreading the word all over East Tennessee that we needed all the support we could get. Katie and I, along with Blackman Community Church leaders, have traveled to church all over East Tennessee inspiring our brothers and sisters and receiving financial support, prayer support, and encouragement! Each of these churches has journeyed with us in this task for the Kingdom.
However, it is not just local churches that have shown support in this manner. The district has also shown incredible support not just by equipping us but by supporting us financially and with untold prayers. I will never forget the day this past Spring when I got the call from Dr. Ron McCormack, our District Superintendent, telling me that the district leadership had decided to contribute $10,000 to this church plant! We praised God and celebrated a district church that supports planting churches in our cities.
Still, it has not just been the local churches and the district church that has supported us. Church planting is something that we know our Global Church supports. This past week I received another call from Dr. McCormack. This time it was to tell me that we would be receiving an additional $10,000 from the General Church of the Nazarene!!! Wow!!! God is good! God’s church is good! It is good to be a Nazarene!!! This money is available because thousands of churches are faithfully paying budgets because they all know of what can be accomplished when we work together for the Mission of God!
(As of this writing, we’re at about $65,000 already donated towards our pre-launch goal of $85,000! That’s great progress! We still have a ways to go and are so thankful for your continued giving towards this goal. If you’d like to give or pledge support, please click here and you can give online right now.)
I have never felt more blessed and supported by my church than I have these past 10 months. We are a part of a larger body! We are members of a larger family! That is because all the ministry of Blackman Community Church will be a part of a larger story and it will be the result of the faithfulness and passion for the Kingdom of God that defines the local church, the district church, and the Global Church of the Nazarene! It is good to be a part of the family of the Church of the Nazarene! This is truly a people who hear the call to make Christ-like disciples in the nations! When we celebrate our Launch in March it will not just be a local celebration. It will be a Global celebration, and all those who have journeyed with us, even if not present in body, will certain be in spirit!