All posts by alessok

Planning and Planting

Hey friends and partners!

Andrew and I have been a little quiet on the blog front recently, simply because we’ve been hitting the ground in lots of other ways—meeting with team members, financial partners, ministry leaders from around LA, and trying to stay faithful in our current commitments. But we want to keep you in the loop on how to pray, so I thought I’d write a little something.

Many people who’ve been considering joining the team that will move and plant with us have asked, “How do I know with certainty I’m called to do this, and finalize this type of decision?” This question is something I can identify with, because it was such a part of my journey as Andrew and I first considered this new venture.

As Andrew and I began praying about church planting, there was a series of steps I took in the process. First, I tried to learn as much as I could about church planting, and began to clarify my own misconceptions. As the vision became clearer, I began to pray about and evaluate what areas of my heart were not surrendered to the Lord.

Where was the Lord calling me to become more willing to sacrifice? And even with a greater depth of surrender, what type of lifestyle would or would not be sustainable and realistic for me?

What types of people had God put on my heart? Was I more able to reach them through my present forms of ministry, or were there opportunities elsewhere God was calling me to pursue, in order to reach them?

Was I being faithful to listen to the voice and heart of God in small daily ways? If I were going to try to reach and love people in a different place, was I being purposeful to do that here and now?

I began to seek counsel and wisdom from many mentors and friends. Was this something they could see us doing, or were we too immature and naïve in considering it? Would this align with the gifts and heart God had given us?

God began confirming our call and sharpening my focus in these areas. Along with these things, I had really practical logistical questions to ask God—what would we do with our house? By going, will we be hurting people here, or will they affirm this call and joyfully partner from a distance? What did I need to do in my career to prepare—and where should I apply, if I wanted to switch employers?

As I began to pray about these questions and put in some footwork to find answers, God showed up powerfully. We found a trustworthy renter for the house. One of the friends I was most concerned about approached me (without me even mentioning my concerns), and she affirmed her excitement and blessing in our journey. My professional mentors helped me to complete educational milestones at an advanced pace so that I would be fully finished with my goals and ready to move on. My trust grew in the Lord with each step along the way. I’d look back and say, “Really? That one worked out that clearly? Ok! Let’s keep walking forward!” I’d seen Him answer prayer before, but this was uncanny. The picture that comes to mind is one of a good Father holding his child’s hand as they navigate rocky ground together. Whatever you’re facing in your journey with Jesus, I’d encourage you to just begin asking yourself and your Father a few questions, and see how He would guide your faith.

If you’re willing or interested in stepping forward with us on this journey, there are a few different ways to partner.

First, if you’re local, we’re beginning a missions prayer/church planting class at Central Christian on Sunday mornings at 9:00 in the Gallery. It begins this Sunday, April 17th, and we would LOVE to have you there. It might help you sort through your own heart in reaching God’s people, and it will for sure keep you posted if you’re willing to partner with us in prayer.

Next, no matter where you live, we would love if you would particularly pray this month for all the meetings we have scheduled with pastors and churches who are considering partnering with us. These are big steps, and we would love prayer over them.

And finally, if you’re willing to partner with us financially, here  is the best place to do that. Click “sign-up” and select the “Central Church Plant” Fund from the drop down menu when given the chance. You can do a one-time gift, or set up a recurring scheduled gift.

Thank you, friends!

Katie Alesso