From Campus to Community: Residencies

I have written before about how our work in a primarily collegiate setting is spilling over into the community. The same story is continuing to unfold in some exciting ways.

Perkinsville Baptist Church is where Kelly and I are members – they are our sending church and one of our supporting churches. They were quick to invite us to facilitate disciple making trainings with college students, youth, and adults. They hosted our first Gospel Conversations Training for #NoPlaceLeftBoone as well. The pastor, Seth Norris, and I are good friends and have spent many hours discussing the work we’ve been doing in the collegiate community and he has helped me refine my thinking and practice.

The 4 Fields Strategy and the #NoPlaceLeft vision has started creeping into the church and it has been beautiful. One key way we have seen local churches take ownership of the strategy is through Church Planter / Missionary Residencies. They turn the vision, strategy, and tactics into recruitable platform that fits well in a variety of settings – including a local church. It is Perkinsville’s way of taking ownership of lostness in their own community and training their members as well as other believers to make disciples, start new churches out of the harvest, and reproduce leaders.

This is just the beginning for PBC and for the broader community of Boone, NC.

PBC Residency Interest Meeting. These folks were interested enough in the idea of a residency that they showed up for the meeting. Many have been consistently out in the harvest sharing their faith in the lead-up time. 

We cannot expect believers to be able to take ownership of the entire Great Commission unless we train them (give them skills) to do each part of it. They need to be able to identify people who are far from God, share the gospel, baptize new believers, and teach them to obey Jesus’ commands.

See, Here is Water!

As seen in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Official (Acts 8), baptisms can happen in unexpected locations. In the last few months we have had baptisms occur in the university pool (Video 1), a local hotel pool (Videos 2 & 3), and in the river (Video 4). Each one is marked by the simple joys of disciplers baptizing their new disciples and being surrounded by friends, family, and their new church family.

I’ve written about baptisms before here and here.

We cannot reproduce healthy disciple making, church formation, and leadership development if we are not giving away responsibility at every level as we go. This is a key value in the 4 Fields strategy that we are using.