OUR FIRST MOVEMENT CHURCH PLANTING RESIDENTS: JOEL AND MORGAN TRAINER

Today at Movement Church we made a big announcement that I am personally very excited about…

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Movement Church started in 2012 with a vision to be a movement of people finding their way back to God. In our short history we have seen that vision happen in the lives of individuals and families as God has built a new church in Hilliard, Ohio.

One consistent, foundational prayer among our leadership team has been to create a wake of church plants; not a one time event, but rather a continuous rhythm of planting churches that in turn plant others..

From the advent of Movement Church, we have commissioned 5% of our collected funds along with additional, privately raised money for church planting initiatives. We do this not knowing the time, location, or individual but because we feel called to multiply in the pattern shown in the New Testament.

We are not ready to pull the trigger and plant a church this week, but it is time to take steps and prepare our people and our leadership pipeline. We recently extended an offer to Joel and Morgan Trainer to come on pastoral staff in a one-year, self-supporting church planting resident role.

The Trainers are currently on staff at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri, one of the largest and most influential Christian camps in America with 13 campuses and over 20,000 visitors each year. They are both graduates of Indiana Wesleyan University and have ties to Ohio. Morgan grew up on the north side of Columbus and Joel’s parents live in Vermilion.

The Trainers have watched Movement Church from a distance and are close friends with many members of our original launch team. We are confident in their abilities and calling and trust that God is going to use them in great ways to plant a reproducing church in central Ohio.

The vision of this residency is to provide experience in church planting, portable church, local church ministry, teaching, administration, leading teams, casting vision and fund-raising. No program can perfectly equip and prepare an individual for planting a church but our desire is to impart to them everything we have and know.

The goal of this residency is that we (in partnership with Encounter Church) will be able to confidently commission The Trainers and a launch team of church planters on a three-year plan in the greater Columbus area. The Trainers are currently raising funds for their residency with the goal of joining our team September 1st, 2016.

If you have questions or would like to give toward the Church planting resident fund please contact our office or visit movementcolumbus.com.

Trainers-1

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MORE ON THE TRAINERS

That was the official press release that we wrote so that we could use common language in many venues, but I want you to hear from me in a way that is not canned. From my heart I want you to know that I believe in the Trainers so much and I am ecstatic to have them in our network and on our team. Joel is a great leader who I think has the perfect mix of leadership, humility, fun, and an entrepreneurial spirit to plant a church. Morgan is the perfect compliment and has a heart for people and the local church that I look up to. I have known them for years and have watched them in many different stages of life and ministry. I think they are the perfect candidates to help us truly become a church planting movement.

I have seen them step in faith toward this calling with wisdom and humility that confirmed they are the ones God has for us. Please be in prayer for them as they transition from their jobs after a busy summer camp season, sell a house, have a baby, and move to Ohio. They are now family and we want to serve and honor them from day one. At a later date I will ask who wants to drive to Missouri and help them move, but for now just pray for the sale of their house and the fundraising process.

 

MOVEMENT CHURCH(ES)?

When planting a church was just a dream in my heart, I strategically chose the word movement because I wanted to start something that would not just be a one time local event, but something that would multiply exponentially. Movement Church is the first wave of that dream, and this is the second wave. My prayer is that Movement Church will be able to plant 25 churches in my lifetime and that the churches we plant will plant another 25. At the end of my life and ministry career I want to be able to look back and say that God used us to plant 50 life giving churches in Columbus, Ohio and all over America.

I told someone this dream recently and they said “so you don’t want Movement Church to get any bigger?” and I laughed. Growth and multiplication are not mutually exclusive; in fact I think that continually tuning our church’s heart for multiplication will help us be a thriving church with a vacuum for discipleship and mobilization.

I remember years ago having an interest in church planting and not knowing what the avenue was for that call. If you or someone you know has an interest in church planting I want a residency with Movement Church to be on their radar. We are a certain kind of church and I am a certain kind of leader with a certain vision so I don’t want to pretend to be perfect for everyone or that we have unlimited resources, but we are one option that will be a fit for some in God’s timing. We were planted out of Encounter Church and alongside them want to see a network of like-minded reproducing churches emerge so the prayer is that long-term there will be multiple venues to host residents and church personalities to emulate.

If you want to talk about church planting or think you may have an interest in doing a residency at Movement Church lets talk…. today…. or in 5 years.

CELEBRATING THE NEXT PHASE FOR MOVEMENT CHURCH

Three years ago in 2012, my family moved to Hilliard to plant Movement church. Our launch team started with 16 adults and 5 kids. Some were already situated on the west side and others sold their homes or moved to new apartments to that we could make our homes and have an impact around Hilliard.

Our vision was the same in those early days to be “A movement of people finding their way back to God”, but it started small as we talked about the church we wanted to be and how we would accomplish that. I remember many steps along the way and the excitement that came when the first person gave their life to Jesus, the first person was baptized, and the launch of our first worship experience.

Yesterday came and went without much fanfare, because it’s the middle of the week and the 4th of July is coming up, but I wanted to take a moment and talk about the significance of July 1st, 2015. Movement Church was planted with a 3-year startup plan so we have had many churches and individuals who have supported us through prayer, finances, and volunteer hours to get started and be self-sufficient.

We have seen God add to our numbers, our influence and our body as a church. We have gone from a small group with a big vision to developed group able to stand on our own. It’s time for us to leave the official title of church plant behind. We want to always have the heart and feel of a church plant and be involved in the multiplication of churches, but we are shifting gears.

July 1st, 2015 Movement Church became a self-supporting church. This means that our budget is now entirely dependent on the giving and investment of the people who make up our body. Our direction, the care of our staff, and our future ministry will all be written by those who believe in and are involved in seeing our vision happen.

Movement Church isn’t perfect and we are still a very young group of people. We will grow in size, maturity, and our ability to lead and navigate where our vision takes us, but I am excited for this next phase. We are doing a series as a church this summer in the book of Exodus and I have always loved the parallels to us of watching Israel trust God to provide for them and guide them. No matter our size or the look and feel of our church, we can never lose site of our need to follow God as he builds us into the church He wants.

This fall we are kicking off the school year with a series called ownership. This will be a vision series, but will take us deeper than we have gone as we explore some key areas to our vision like owning our personal faith, Sunday mornings, groups, serving, and outreach. As part of this series we will begin the process to name elders from our group. We will be doing this under the guidance of the elders at Encounter church our sending church. This will be one final step, as we become a self-sufficient, self-leading church.

This step is just a chance to pause and thank God for the way he has provided for us and kept his promises as we stepped out on faith. Our vision doesn’t stop or have en expiration date, so we will continue to work hard to be intentional and contagious to help people find their way back to God.

In the coming month, we will be rolling out some videos and a final prayer letter to celebrate, but I wanted to take a moment and just say a personal thank you on behalf of my family and myself. Thank you to each person and church who has prayed for us, invested in us, given time, donated money and been apart of the startup of Movement Church. I pray that you see the exponential value in you young kingdom minded investment and that the example of Movement Church gives you an enthusiasm for a role in starting more new churches.

Movement Church, I love you! I am grateful for each one of you from the first people on the launch team to those who have recently found their church home. The best is yet to come and I am excited to see God do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.

MOVEMENT CHURCH EASTER SUNDAY WRAP-UP

Movement Church,

I wanted to write you a letter and let you know I am so proud of what God did through you on Easter Sunday as we celebrated life in Jesus.

#youPLUSone

We had a simple vision to see our normal church numbers double and to see every person bring a friend. Not JUST because numbers are important, but because each one of those numbers represents a person that you have relationship who needs to know the gospel.

We equipped you with flyer invites and sent one to every home in Hilliard and prayerfully gave it to God.

Sunday we had 296 people!!!

God far exceeded our expectations and gave us a vision for the church He wants us to be and where we can go as we develop a heart for our city.

Just two Easters ago, we were launching publically and look what God has done in a few short years.

Sunday was a success for all of our volunteer teams.

For the creative arts team, you made many upgrades and seamlessly communicated the gospel through our worship experience to the most adults we have ever stuffed in a room!

Movement Kids handled the biggest numbers they’ve ever seen with new volunteers, seamless check-in, and some creative take homes to create memories for every kid.

First Impressions made an environment that was able to handle the large crowds and lines and still let them enjoy our photo booth (pictures on our church Facebook), grab some coffee, and maybe even get a family pic with Elsa and Captain America. We had most VIP cards ever filled out on a Sunday. So thank you for making guests feel welcome and giving them a vision for who we are by helping them find a seat and feel comfortable in every way.

As a leader and your pastor, I love knowing that this morning had some bells and whistles and hype around it but it was anchored in the gospel. Every person in attendance heard the gospel. I love knowing all the conversations that happened before, during, and after in your lives.

Thank you for responding and inviting your friends. Thank you for believing in our vision. Thank you for giving and volunteering your time for setup and to volunteer and make this day happen. I know that God is pleased with your hearts and your sacrifice and I am proud to be apart of this family.

MOVEMENT CHURCH HAS A NEW LOCATION (FAQ ABOUT OUR MOVE)

On Sunday Movement Church announced that starting February 2nd our worship experiences are moving to the Hilliard/Ray Patch Family YMCA.  As a young church, we are excited for this move and the way God has opened the doors to make it happen.  This move will provide great exposure to our community and allow us to grow and accomplish our vision in some new exciting ways. Our vision is to be “a movement of people finding their way back to God.” This happens through people knowing Jesus and we want this move to be about that.

Not everyone was at church Sunday and we also have many friends and supporters who might have questions, so I thought I would take a second and answer some Frequently asked questions about the new location of our Movement Church worship experience.

Why move?

When Movement Church got to Hilliard, we looked into meeting in many places and God seemed to shut many of those doors. We were blessed to get a space in a town that isn’t always overflowing with portable space for church plants. This fall we have felt that space maximized as we have run out of parking many times and have a need to offer childcare beyond the two classes and ages (0-6ish) that we presently do. This move allows us to gather more people, have more parking, grow Movement Kids and offer more classes, and also have a well-known space that the community is more aware of.

Why the YMCA?

Anyone who knows Movement Church knows that we have always had a great relationship with the Y.  We have multiple people who are members on the board and as a church believe in what they do.  Their staff has been great cheerleaders of ours since day one. Our Movement groups have served there, we partnered for Trunk or Treat, and we helped sponsor the Ridestrong cancer fundraiser this past fall. The Y has been a wonderful partner in impacting families and this is another extension of that partnership.

When will this happen?

Our first Sunday at the Y will be Sunday February 2nd.  We want to be there in time for the series we will start that day called RelationsLips (love, dating, singleness, marriage, sex) and also to be ready to grow into the space in time for Palm Sunday and Easter (April 20th).

How will this work?

As of right now the plan is that we are going to have some on-site storage in the YMCA’s closet that we are re-organizing and building shelves in, as well as possibly a trailer like many other portable churches. Our sending church Encounter Church has a trailer they no longer use.

The plan is still coming together as our team for Creative Arts (tech), First impressions, and Movement Kids is putting together lists of needs for this new space.  Many things will translate (chairs, tables, sound) while other things will get simpler (We almost zero nursery and toddler setup as the Y already has dedicated rooms for this). We are looking at buying some new things like signs, cables and cords, and even new curtains, etc.  This move will take the work of many, but we believe in it and are excited to make it happen this month.

What to expect?

We are living proof that the church is not a building but the people who make it up. We have never owned a building or been in one for more than 90 minutes a week so in that sense not much changes. We are still intentional and contagious like our name, and will still be the same church.  We use buildings as a place to get together and celebrate who God is and what He is doing in us.

Our vision is still the same for Sundays to have a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all ages as well as teaching and music that are Biblically based, applicable, engaging, relevant, innovative, and also to feature stories of life change.

We still want people to feel welcome from the minute they get out of their car, walk inside, and check their kids into Movement Kids. As they worship we want them to know who we are and how they can get involved. We know that people are in many different places in their spiritual journey, that is why our goal is that people who have never heard the name of Jesus, people who have never been to church, people who have grown up in church, people who think they are too messed up, and people who don’t think God has a place for them, will find their way back to God through Jesus.

What is changing?

We will pay less per month for this space, so more money can be put toward ministry and establishing Movement Church.

Our worship experience will be in a bigger space so you can invite everyone you know.

Movement Kids will add a third class for ages 7-10 and have room to expand to more later.

You won’t have to fight for a parking spot now. In fact there is so much parking we are going to have spots for guests so those of us who call Movement home can park farther away and create an atmosphere of serving others.

What are the needs at this point?

Prayer – please pray for wisdom as we transition. We are going to be planning, ordering, and want to get it right. Also pray that this move gives us visibility in the community and that we will be able to see people find their way back to God because of this move.

Volunteers – We have some new needs in setup and first impressions (parking) that didn’t exist before. This is similar to moving in to a house from an apartment and realizing that you have to mow the yard now. We are hoping this will create a vacuum for many to serve and use their gifts and take ownership of their church.

Purchases – We also have some needs for things like furnishing the new kids room. I have had people ask if they can donate or give money toward this. The answer is yes and we will try to make needs knows as they are decided upon.

Can we use the hot tub or baptize people in the Pool?

As long as we pay to staff a lifeguard that day, we can do whatever we want.  I hope to start a baptism tradition that people get in the water by going down the slide. I’m just kidding….sort of.

MOVEMENT GRAND OPENING WEEKEND/EGG DROP/EASTER SUNDAY RECAP

Many people have asked via text, email, and Facebook, so I thought I would give a recap of all that God did on our opening weekend.

  • Saturday at 830am we got to Spindler Park and began setting up for our Easter Egg Drop.
  • We had a team of around 50 people very organized by our outreach coach Ashton Rank so the work went quick and we were ready to go by 10am.
  • All we really did was set up sound, have an information table, mark 3 soccer fields with stakes and caution tape, and spread 37,000 eggs out evenly.
  • We didn’t know how many people would show up but we took around 12,000 flyers door to door and also put another 3,000 in area businesses. We also got on some family activity websites.
  • Once people arrived we had a parking team that got everyone in the lot in an organized way. We had around 800 spots in the parking lots and filled all but 10 or so.
  • We also had a greeting team that passed out flyers explaining the flow of the morning and helped parents find the age specific field they were looking for.
  • We estimate that we had between 2,000 and 2,500 people show up which is exactly what we asked people to pray for so that was cool to see God provide.
  • The helicopter arrived around 11:15 and dropped the remaining 3,000 eggs (1 large garbage bag on each field). It’s funny to hear the ooo’s and ahh’s in this vine my wife put up. There is something special about a helicopter to little kids.
  • The day was a great success and we made some great connections and were convinced that people knew who our church was, knew that we loved them and their family and wanted to serve them, and many would be at church the next day. Thank you Jesus.
  • We sent our team home around 12:30 because we got permission to set our facility up on Saturday night so everyone could bring a friend and not have to come early and be distracted with details on Sunday.
  • We met at Harmony at 5pm and set up the lobby/VIP and Movement Kids areas first while the team prepped tech stuff.
  • Setup was different because we had to include a baptism tank for the first time and also use all 200 of the chairs we owned so we could handle the anticipated crowd. Our room is not big so this required a little thought.
  • Eventually it was all setup and ready to go so we took advantage of having two large screens and watched the Buckeyes Elite 8 game…too bad they lost L
  • Sunday I did my usual routine and stopped at our PO Box to pick up any support that comes through the mail. I prayed and thanked God as I drove and actually started crying. It was an emotional day to have known this was what God has wanted for so long and to just thank him in order for all the ways he has already answered prayers, opened doors. And been faithful.
  • Our team came in at 8 instead of our usual 7 and go to sound check and relax a little more. We topped off the baptism tank and tried to make it warm (fail).
  • We had extra greeters, extra ushers, an extra VIP table and were ready to go when the crowd started rolling in.
  • As with any church plant launch that is close to home or your sending church(es) for many we saw some family and familiar faces who wanted to come support us and that is ok because it helped give us a crowd.
  • It was so awesome to roam the lobby and say to people “I saw you at the Egg Drop yesterday right?” and know that God had brought them that day.
  • The service started with our new bumper video that Chris Guyot hooked us up with.  I have known him since he was 15 and got to be his student pastor. It was an absolute blessing to have him want to give his gifts to our church and to bless us.
  • Next we cut to this video http://vimeo.com/63017692 which was something I dreamed up and Josh Howard just made happen. We are so blessed to have him and I try not to gush too much, but this video was just him showing his commitment to excellence and talent and eye for all things creative. Josh thanks for being on our team, thanks for your heart and passion and for giving yourself far beyond what we can pay you…..for now.
  • We had some songs after that and as they were playing seats started becoming a hot commodity which was awesome to see. I took some quick iphone pics because I could.
  • We did our usual welcome and invite for VIP’s to fill out the connect card for a T-shirt. We had 59 VIPs so I am sure a good portion of my week will be spent on the phone which is the problem we want.
  • We showed this video from Fellowship Creative http://vimeo.com/40297738 to begin focusing our minds on Easter and the resurrection and new life.
  • Speaking of new life after the video our band played Overcome and in the middle we had the 4 people being baptized come forward and share their story and why they wanted to be baptized. As the band played we had a party and it was one of the most powerful moments of the day watching them come up out of the water.
  • Our theme for the day was Jesus changes everything and we used Titus 2:11-14.  We had one guy indicate that he wants Jesus in his life so I am very excited to follow up with him this week and talk about that.
  • We closed with some worship and its official that our band/Jeremy Noland’s version of “All the poor and powerless” is better than the All Sons and Daughters version…in my humble opinion. They not only have a great backing track that borders at electronic at times, but they also had him play a tom drum from the set , and they even switch up the temp in the 2nd verse and it had a Mumford vibe for just a second. Truly excellent. Thank you to our band for working so hard and building a great atmosphere. By the final song you could hear the crowd singing back and it was a very worshipful moment and I loved that they got to lead in that.
  • All things said and done it was a great day. We had 199 people at our service.
  • I am sure we will put some pics up from the weekend. We had 3 photographers going nuts all weekend to document it.
  • I FORGOT TO MENTION SOME DETAILS OR SOMETHING I BET, BUT THE MAIN POINT IS……………. Thank you Jesus!

MARCH 11TH, 2013 MIND DUMP

What is one to do when there is just too much to say in a post that would stay on topic, be cohesive, or make sense in any way?…You write a mind dump of course.

  • I have been waiting since high school to be a church planter….I love it.
  • Often when people describe a phase of life to you it isn’t true. We all got marriage or parenting suggestions from someone we were convinced had no idea what they are talking about. Most people told me that in the church planters the highs would be higher and the lows would be lower…..that is exactly true.
  • Today was our 9th Sunday since we started public services at the Harmony Artistic Center.
  • I think this next week will be the one where all the kinks are gone. After that I will just blame mistakes on other people and their imperfections.
  • I have always gone to churches that announced and cared about the time change keeping people from church, this was my first time on the other side.
  • I love my team. Whenever I am stressed I just start picturing names and faces of people and what God is doing in them.  We are blessed to have some great people who are gifted and so committed. I cannot imagine doing this without them.
  • I just bought a bunch of new worship music. I am just trying to keep up with Josh Howard.
  • Today starts a Daniel Fast that many on our team are doing from now until our grand opening. You won’t hear me talk about it again, but I am excited for our team to see God in these 21 days.
  • We have a team from Grace Fellowship in Pickerington coming next week to help us get the word out about the Egg Drop. That church bleeds for us and is in full partnership and it is super refreshing.
  • Speaking of The Egg Drop I bought hilliardeggdrop.com to promote it. That is where the link goes.
  • I own a lot of Movement Church related dot coms. Its what I get for letting people like Ben Arment and Brandon Rike influence me. I think they own like 100 each.
  • Today I got all the Movement Church stuff out of my basement and finally put it in the storage locker (minus the 40k eggs). Its like I gained a while new room at my house.
  • I got the stuff out of the basement because I could, but also because I think between now and Memorial Day I will be slowly finishing our basement. I hope to someday house some interns or a resident there if it helps us multiply churches.
  • We have our teaching calendar planned out for the next year. We will do a relationships, love, sex series next February. I got some back issues of 614 magazine that have a Columbus specific survey about sex and related topics this week. It is fascinating to say the least and for better or worse good to know our demographic.
  • I thought about putting some thoughts up here about love/marriage/sex and all that stuff since its one of my favorite things to teach on.
  • Its funny how 7 years after you start as a student pastor the floodgates open for doing weddings and pre-marital weddings. I am busy right now connecting with former students and it is great to see what God is doing and where he has taken them.
  • Tomorrow night I am going to the Encounter Church elder’s meeting. Still so grateful for the vision they have to multiply in us and give us financing too.
  • In the last few months I have been contacted by so many closet church planters and closet parents of adoption. I love getting to share our stories and hopefully get them a little closer to the edge and jumping.

THE HARDEST PART OF PLANTING A CHURCH SO FAR: MAKING YOUR OWN WAKE

Ever since we started planting a church, people always ask me a question.

Usually the questions are something like “How’s it going?”, “What’s it like?” or “What’s been the hardest part?”

I think the last question is the one I get asked the most. I thought today I would elaborate on that a little more and tell you what the hardest part has been thus far in our experience. (This answer could change, but for now this is what I thought of.)

The hardest part of planting a church has been making our own wake.  If you don’t know what a wake is than you obviously have never been around a boat or waterskiing and wakeboarding. Wake is defined as “the track or path left behind a ship”.  It’s the part behind the boat that isn’t as bumpy and is really easy to ski inside of.

Previous to this adventure in my life I have always ridden in someone else’s wake.  For the first 18 years (and closer to 22 if I am being honest) I rode in the wake of Ron and Jeanne Artrip.  Oh what a comfortable glorious wake that was.  I miss those days.  For the next couple I rode in the wake of my school, other pastors, ministries, etc.

When I went on staff at Grace Church they already had a name, a building, 1000 people, and a youth group. We saw some cool growth and had great opportunities but I could go anywhere on the north side and name drop the church, another staff member or even reference we were the church next the YMCA and not have to go outside of their wake. I could do things in the community and even when I was meeting new people they still knew of our church or they still connected me to someone they knew in our group. I pushed myself and coached soccer and met people, but there were already guys on the soccer team at our church so looking back I was just the cherry on top of the equation. The kids in our youth group were often already connected to the church and their mom and dad wanted them there.  Rick Nuzum had gone before me as a great pastor and I rode in his wake.

Until I moved to Hilliard I had never really had to make my own wake.  In life, in ministry, in relationships we were always grafted in and were able to flourish, and that has been hands down the hardest adjustment.  It weird not knowing anyone in this town and not often seeing people you know at Kroger.  Its unfamiliar when people ask you where you work or why you are buying things and you name-drop a church that has no notoriety.

It won’t be that way for long. We are working hard to make in roads, to build relationships, and build a brand. We are working hard as a church, staff, and family to build a wake.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is WHAT we are called to and this is WHO we are called to. We knew that we didn’t know anyone down here. We knew there were people in Hilliard who needed Jesus and we chose to move here out of obedience and enthusiasm.  I’m not upset about it; in fact I am really excited by the challenge.  I’m just answering the question for the closet planters who ready my blog and haven’t gotten the courage to jump yet.