As I sit here on this Sunday evening I have a flood of emotions coming over me. I think about this journey we have been on for over a year now and see how far God has brought us since accepting this call to plant a church. My blog last week, It will cost me What?, shared the costs for following Jesus and being obedient to the call He places on your life. The cost for planting a church have been very high & every one that comes along to help it will cost them something as well. But the benefits far out weigh the cost. But one of the greatest benefits we have is that God has placed us with an awesome sending church. So what is a sending church?
One of the hardest things a church planter has to face is having to take the grand vision God has given and set out to fulfill this vision. Many church planters are orphans, meaning that they are this journey alone. A sending church is a church of similar vision or who will embrace the vision God has given you and are willing to do whatever they can to help see that vision come to pass. FuZion Church is blessed with one of the best sending churches any church planter could ever ask for, Vertical. Mike Pittman, Lead Pastor of Vertical, has become more than just a mentor pastor to me. He has become a friend that is there to challenge, encourage, equip, love on me, pray for me, and so much more. As much as he has done for me, Vertical Church has done that for FuZion Church as well. They have embraced us, loved on us, opened up everything in all aspects of the ministry to me and the entire team that has been a part of helping see the vision God has given for FuZion to be fulfilled. All they asked us was to come along side of them and learn from them how to plant a church and do church in the way God has called us to do. All the pastors, staff, leaders and others have poured into us to equip us, train us, give us a realistic understanding, show us the right ways and even help us understand some better ways to do ministry, and so much more.
I can’t imagine being on this journey without Vertical and Pastor Mike. As our sending church they have opened their hearts to us and are walking with us through this journey to help us be the best prepared and do all they can do to help ensure our success. The gift we have been given is beyond measure. So many other church planters as I talk with them tell me they wished we had a church like Vertical to support them. I can’t thank the Lord enough for His provision of sending us to Vertical and their willingness to be what He has called us to be. As we head into the final stretch of heading to the launching FuZion Church and meeting on a weekly basis, they have even stepped it up to a new level of wanting to equip us for the next steps. As our sending church their desire is to equip the entire team that God has called to help plant this church. They want to pour all their knowledge and invest in us so all FuZion’s leaders will be able to train in a real life situation instead of just reading a way to do a certain job then figuring out how to do it. This gift is beyond words and is one of the greatest gifts that a sending church can give.
We as FuZion Church not only appreciate all that has been invested into us but have committed to investing in others the same way Vertical has invested into us. I want to do all I can do to fulfill the vision of being a church that plants other churches by passing on all the has been invested into me into other church planters God will bring into my life.
Our sending church is the BEST!!! I am so appreciative of all they have done in investing in FuZion Church and all they plan to invest as we continue on this journey. We will never take this gift for granted and will invest back into them as they have into us, by serving along side of them and help build the kingdom as we worship with them each week as we prepare for our launch. Thank you to the Pastors of Vertical; Mike Pittman, Donnie Paschal, Joey Autry, Jon Lloyd, and Brandon Meadows, and all the leaders and volunteers that have supported, sown into us, loved on us, prayed for & with us, equipped us and stand beside us throughout this journey. Thank you Lord for Vertical and a sending church like this.