Unity. Opportunity. Collaboration. Potential. Legacy.
These are the words used by the participants to describe a meeting this week in Fort Lauderdale among Acts 29, Mars Hill Church, Harvest Bible Chapel Chicago (including HBC – Miami and HBC Jupiter) Harvest Bible Fellowship, Coral Ridge Presbyterian, Austin Stone Community Church, One Hope and Churches Helping Churches. Journey in St Louis and Crosspointe in Orlando are uniting with this project but were unable to attend. We met for two days to make some decisions about holistic community transformation through the Gospel by planting 100 missional churches in Haiti in the next 3 years.
This is a huge goal but as Richard Luna, an experienced missionary in Latin America said, “Acts 29 is unity in action. These leaders are modeling unity in diversity…I have been a part of the sowing of God’s Word for years. This is a time of harvest.”
The entire meeting encouraged me. One Hope graciously provided our hotel accommodations and several meals and Coral Ridge treated us with honor as the host church. We collaborated to make some key decisions.
- We made decisions on our assessment of church planters.
- We identified the characteristics of the Haitian leader we are seeking to embed as our church-planting representative for this initiative.
- We agreed to the coaching model and to the training aspects.
- We agreed to the funding mechanism and One Hope agreed to provide their fund-tracking product and to deploy their financial department to monitor the funds to help bring transformation to this troubled country.
- We even agreed on the theology of the church plants!
When the earthquake hit Haiti, Pastors James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll decided to do something to specifically help the churches. This new organization, Churches Helping Churches raised $2.6 million from a large contingency of Harvest Bible Fellowship churches and Acts 29 churches as well as other churches around the country. Some money is set aside for church planting. Their vision is igniting a realistic potential to leave a legacy of the Gospel for multiple generations.
I later met with Knox Seminary who graciously offered to take our training material and provide a Knox Seminary Certificate to the Haitian planters upon completion without any cost to Acts 29 or the pastor. The President of Knox, Dr Ron Kovak told me that they are anxious to work with Acts 29 in any way they can.
Doors of opportunity and collaboration are opening up all around this Haiti church planting initiative.
When I addressed the congregation of Coral Ridge and described what God was doing through this team that included Coral Ridge, they applauded. I sat down next to Duane Meller, mission’s pastor at CRP and he said, “You got them excited…and they are Presbyterians!”
When churches and church leaders come together in unity around a vision for Gospel transformation and not their own agenda, “potential” turns into glory to God.