Archives For Church Planting

Grace of 2012

January 3, 2013 — 2 Comments

The other day I posted that 2012 had been the hardest year in my life. While this is so very true, the other side of the coin is that 2012 was also a great year, and one of the most exciting years in my life.

2012

Yeah, things were hard, really hard. But growing up, my dad always told me that if there is not a battle going on then you’re likely doing little for the kingdom of God. Satan and his crew don’t waste their time on those who are not pressing forward and kicking some butt in Jesus’ name. Now I am not saying that there are not people who have spiritual warfare who are lazy and just sin a ton, but I think there is truth to his statement. Amidst all the trials, sleepless nights, internal strife, and stress within life, there were abundant blessings and grace poured out on a daily basis.

I was blessed with my fourth child, Hudson. My other three children are healthy, growing, and a great joy in my life. In August, I was able to baptize my now seven year old! Not only that, but within Redemption Hill we baptized seven and dedicated six little ones. We saw people get saved, addictions overcome, sins fought, and reconciliation happen. We even made budget, which is a major blessing. On top of making budget, we were able to give away over $6,000 to other church plants, with another $6,000 to help fix cars, put a couple roofs on houses that were leaking, buy groceries, and a bunch of other things. This doesn’t mention all the things that happened within each of the Missional Communities in Redemption Hill. Mortgage payments were made, cars were given, childcare was provided, meals were cooked (probably hundreds of them!), rides were given, people were moved, and I could go on.

Above all of these earthly struggles that were helped, Jesus was delighted in. We still have a long ways to go and grow as we seek to be a people that are broken by Jesus and live as a family of missionary servants, but we are slowly moving that way. The Spirit has been doing His part and refining us, hence the pain and joy!

C. H. Spurgeon said, “Every year that the Church is kept a united church, is a year of miracle.” Of all the things mentioned above, this one truth is of most beauty to me. Grace has caused our little church family to still love and care for each other and have great unity. This is something that we cannot do in and of ourselves. It is done by grace and grace alone. The overwhelming thing is the grace that was extended in 2012 by Jesus is the same grace that we are privileged to walk in in 2013.

A Letter about RH

October 2, 2012 — Leave a comment
A couple of months ago, Bethany Fox wrote a letter to those people who support our church plant Redemption Hill. I figured I would post her letter here on my blog just to give an update as to how our little church plant is doing!
Fox_Family
[Here is a short letter from Bethany Fox. Ryan, her husband, and their three 'dudes' joined Redemption Hill  in the middle of June and she wrote this to me a couple of weeks after attending an MC and our Sunday Gathering (which was the start of July)]
When I called Josh to find out more about RH I did not know the structure by which they do things. Their “style” or “methodology”, if you will, was EXACTLY what the Lord had placed in our hearts. We had been praying for this for so long since leaving Connecticut where we had a very tight church family. We felt a great swell of excitement as well as a deep peace for the days leading up to our first visit to RH.
Since the moment we entered the room we felt at home. A woman, who has since become a dear friend lept from her seat to grab chairs for us and to help find us a spot sit. Josh’s sermon was real and applicable. We loved the give and take of it all. Neither of us had ever experienced a church where there was actual discussion going on- not just answering the pastor’s questions- real live- lively- discussion.
After the meeting was over we were approached from all sides by attendees. It was a flurry of exchanging phone numbers and invitations to Missional Community. It was normal and organic. None of that “fill out this card and we will hunt you down if you don’t show up again” kind ofthing; just a bunch of real people with REAL love for Christ showing us how excited they were  to share what they had.
When you have a love like that how can you not want to share it?
We have been attending a Missional Community for about five weeks now. It was effortless to enter the fold. These are just folks who love Jesus spending time in fellowship, loving on each other and on their community at large. I tend to find myself uncomfortable in social situations where I do not know people well. I never once felt that way in MC, not for a split second; theseare God’s people and we are their brother and sister. 
Our kids have been loved on from day one. Our middle son is very shy and we were concerned about switching churches yet again and how it would affect the boys. We remained at a church that was not the right place to be for a long while just for the sole purpose of not uprooting the boys once again. Upon our first Sunday school pick up we found our painfully shy little guy playing with 3 other boys with a puzzle on the floor. He had never before handled drop off and time apart this well. Over the past nearly 6 weeks we have become family here. My children feel safe and loved. They have made friends with other children as well as other adults at RH. I love when I look over and another adult is holding one of our kids or engaging them in conversation. I just love it!
In closing I would like to leave you with something that our family is currently dealing with. My husband was recently injured at work and has not been able to see for two days. Without missing a beat folks at RH have lavished us with Christ’s love. They have lent us a car, taken our boys to give us a break, gone to pick up prescriptions. No expectations. Nothing.  Just pure love. 
This is THE church. This is Christ’s love overflowing. This is the real deal.
We are blessed beyond measure to be part of Redemption Hill.
God is so good.
It’s all grace,
Bethany Fox

My wife posted this photo over on her Instagram the other day during our Sunday Gathering. It is of my son, and three men from within our church plant, Redemption Hill, taking communion. My son asked me if it was ok if he went and asked some of the guys to take communion with him, and I said yeah.

communion

Blessed to be part of a church where men will bow with young children and lead them into the worship of their savior through remembering what He did on the cross for them!

“In those moments of temptation, we can choose to gratify self or to glorify our Savior.  My prayer is that by our Father’s grace and the power of His Holy Spirit, we will choose the latter.  We are no match for the enemy of our souls, but he is no match for the One who lives in us.  I love you guys, and am praying for you and for the Church today.”

Got this email from a leader in my church this morning. He sent it to all the guys. Love doing life with the men of Redemption Hill.

Men of Redemption Hill

Soma Immerse

July 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

As we started Redemption Hill our mission and vision were largely gained from the book Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. This book has given me a firmer biblical foundation upon with to launch RH. The principles taught, and the mission laid out, throughout this book are shared not only with Chester and Timmis’ church, Crowded House (in England) but also by Soma Communities in Tacoma WA. This past January I spent a week out there at an immersion training event for church planters called Soma School, it was a powerful time.

When I was out there I heard about their summer internship for college students, Soma Immerse. When I heard about it I quickly thought about one of the young college students we had in RH. A few months later we shipped him off for the summer to learn about Jesus and how His church works. Here is a video from their time. The student we sent out is Stephen Brush, from Monmouth Maine.

Soma Immerse from Storyline Film on Vimeo.