For some time, I’ve been asking questions about the local church, its impact in a city, and my place in God’s coming kingdom.
Deep down, I wondered, could I be a church planter? I didn’t see myself as qualified. I didn’t even know where to begin. I did, however, always feel the pull towards the adventure of the kingdom.
Saying yes to the Multiply Vineyard Summit, a conference for anyone wanting to be involved in church multiplication, seemed like a good starting point to gain clarity and connections with others who stood where I was standing. I went to the Summit giving myself the full permission to wonder, “Could I be a church planter?”
One of the most helpful things about the Summit was the people. It was so important to have others, those ahead of me and in step with me, to process, discern, pray, dream, question, and wonder together.
As those discerning our calling, we had time at the conference to share what we thought God was up to in our lives. This was an incredible space of vulnerability and authenticity for us. From that space, I got to bless and celebrate and speak courage into others. The same was true for me; others blessed, celebrated, and spoke courage into me.
Without these four days, I am unsure if I would be pursuing church planting today.
During one of the days, I shared about a collection of Holy Spirit moments that I experienced around my discernment. As I shared, others’ excitement inspired me, and I began to grow more and more confident about how God was moving! This was probably the most impactful part of my experience.
God instilled confidence in me as a church planter. I realized I was scared of what other people thought or that I would look foolish. I decided to let the Lord speak into fear and pride. In that place of freedom, I found myself incredibly excited and inspired for what would come from the “yes” God cultivated in me over the years.
Coming home from the Summit, I’ve begun plans to move to London, England in 2020. I am talking with Vineyard pastors there, so that when I move I will be connected to the church and will continue to be trained and equipped to one day church plant.
The Summit gives a definite space to reflect and pray, to step outside of everyday life to recognize the movement of the Holy Spirit, to share your story with others who have either been in your shoes or are standing alongside you discerning for him or herself.
It is a space to wonder, what if I planted a church? What if God really is calling me? What if this is what I desire? What would I say in response? I am grateful for this time to reflect and to see God’s activity in my life with the help of those around me.
If you’re interested in discerning a call to church planting or learning more about preparing to church plant, We’d love to invite you to the Multiply Vineyard Summit happening January 14,16, 2020 at Mountainbrook Church in San Luis Obispo, CA. Learn more and get registered at the www.mvsummit.org.
Multiply Vineyard Summit 2020
About the Author
Kelsey Thornton is the Youth & Young Adults Pastoral Coordinator at Delaware City Vineyard in Delaware, Ohio. She moved there to attend Ohio Wesleyan University, and fell in love with the small town of Delaware. In her free time, she coaches high school soccer, walks dogs, and loves road-tripping with her dad.
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