How is Trinity Different - and Why?
I’ve just returned from our denomination’s annual church planter training conference in Orlando. It was a privilege to go in the early years of Trinity’s existence, and now I go as a trainer.
Just so you know (because you may not), there are not many churches in our denomination that are attempting to plant churches in the way or at the rate that we are. Out of over 1,500 congregations, there are less than 40. And given that we’re unique in this way, it has forced the question many times in a setting like our training conference, “How do y’all do that?”
I want you to think about another question first: “WHY do we do that?” The reason is way more important than just how. We want to plant churches because that is the most effective way to help reach our city and region with the Gospel. We believe people are trapped in guilt and brokenness, and its misery, and only hope for them is Jesus. So this is a mission of love!
And how is Trinity like other churches? We trust in Christ. We believe the Bible. We gather to worship. We work to equip believers. We foster community among our people. We reach out. We sacrifice to show mercy to those in need around us. We do not believe we’re better, just unusual.
Yet how are we different? How does being a church-planting church affect everything we do? We have a leaner budget as we (almost) constantly prepare to give donors away. With that leaner budget we have less full-time staff so we do not have ministries that other churches have. We call on you to volunteer more and to be more generous to support not only Trinity, but our daughter churches. We prioritize Community Groups as not only a place for friendship, evangelism and care, but also as a training ground for the multiplication of leaders (a microcosm for the multiplication of a congregation). Because we have less staff, our Children’s, Student & College Ministries need more volunteers, AND they are also a training ground for the multiplication of leaders (a farm system as it were for growing up future church leaders). And we rejoice to give talented people away.
At these denominational training events, we get praised. I want you to know that I believe with all my heart that praise belongs first to the LORD for how He has worked here in our midst. And second, that praise goes to you, our people, who so graciously and generously buy in to this vision of working to reach our city with the love of Jesus. I love working for Him and with you.
Things to pray for:
– Gratitude. Give thanks to the LORD for His amazing grace to save people like us and to gather us into His mission to rescue still countless others.
– Courage. Ask the Lord to work into our hearts His perfect love, which casts out fear. Pray that we would never make ministry decisions in light of fear, but rather would keep our eyes of Jesus and the immense number of unbelieving souls in our city.
– Faith in Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to bear in you the fruit of love and faithfulness – that you would not merely go to church, but that you would be the church. Ask for His love and power to help you to be in the fight for the Gospel for as long as you live!
– Generosity of heart. Pray that the Father’s generosity toward you would so fill you, that you would be cheerful with us in the work on not only ministry to others, but that we would rejoice to get to give people away for the mission.
Tim Rice, Lead Pastor & Director of Church Planting