One of the great joys I have as a pastor at The Vine in Madison, WI is being an Acts29 church that seeks to plant churches that plant churches. This coming year, 2014, we are planning to plant our first church. It's been a long process but one in which God has been so faithful to sustain us. Below is an interview with the leadership of Redeemer City Church, Nate Hobert and Casey Johnson.
Who are you and Casey and how did you guys decide to plant the church together?I (Nate) moved with the original team to plant the Vine Church 3 years ago in Madison. I have been married to my wife Amanda for 13 years, and we have three kids, Grace (7), Sam (5) and Elise (3). Along with pastoral leadership, I also work part-time at Starbucks.
Casey has served for the past 3 years with Christ Community Church in Daytona Beach, FL. He is married to his wife Angela for the past 9 years, and they have two boys, Westyn (5) and Emmet (2) and their first daughter on the way in November. Along with pastoral leadership, Casey also facilitated a church-planting network in the Florida region.
The short answer to how we decided to plant together is both of us felt called to plant, and we both loved the City of Madison. The long story begins with randomly meeting on a plane before we officially met over lunch. You can read more on this and other things at www.redeemercitychurch.info
Why is church planting a big deal?From a biblical perspective, right after the Great Commission was given, what you see in the book of Acts is the Gospel being unleashed, disciples being made, and churches being planted.
From a situational perspective, roughly 3-4% of Madison's residents attend any evangelical church. We believe that the most effective ways to seeing Madison transformed by the Gospel is through simply following the pattern of the New Testament in saturating it with new churches.
What is your plan for getting this thing off the ground?We will start in early September, training and developing a core team around the vision of Redeemer City, which is to renew our city through the Gospel. In early 2014 we will launch two City Groups, which are small groups with a missional bent. Alongside this we will begin a Sunday gathering sometime between February and September 2014. So that’s our plan, but we will obviously hold it loosely and see what God does.
What are you learning right now about church planting?Honestly it means trusting God in brand new ways. For example, who is God going to provide for our core team or where are we going to meet? You obviously plan and prepare in a number of tangible ways, but then when its all said and done, things happen only by the grace of God. As Casey and I trust God for various things, we are constantly looking in the past at what he has already done, and it gives us confidence in moving forward.
How can we be praying for you? What are your needs?
Thanks Nate and Casey! More info at http://www.redeemercitychurch.info/ and you can follow them in Twitter at @redeemermadison.
- Pray for those who will be on our core team, that we would have a fresh “taste” of the riches found in the Gospel. If we are going to love each other and this city well, it all has to flow from that.
- Pray for persons of peace in our city. Pray that God would open doors in the various neighborhoods, workplaces, and friendships of our core team.
- Pray for God to give us the right people for our core team. We have a good crew from the Vine coming with us, but we would like to see another 8-10 join us as we begin this thing. We are trusting God for the right people. If you know of some good people who aren’t connected to other churches in the area please send them our way!