In the picture above you’ll see Jon and Lacy Cummins, Josh and Celeste Brown, Joe and Charity Fox, and Lead Elder Rick and Kristin Dobrowolski of Allentown Bible Church. They joined us with a number of other for our alumni for a get-together in Allentown, PA.
This past weekend Cary Smith and I enjoyed connecting with two groups of Northland alumni—one in Northeast Philadelphia and the other in Allentown, PA. Few things have given me greater encouragement than reconnecting with our grads! Teams of our graduates and their families are pulling together to plant churches in Pennsylvania that in turn are planting other churches. And rather than spending years on the road trying to raise support, these couples are stepping right into the work by securing secular jobs and sharing the leadership and responsibility. It seems to be an effective model. Allentown Bible Church is one example of those who are jumping in and engaging the community. They are building relationships in their neighborhoods, community centers, and work places. As time goes on these churches will grow and be able to financially support the pastors and teachers.
I like the team concept. It gives a synergy and accountability to the work as well as an acceleration to reaching people with the gospel. When we say, “go where the gospel isn’t,” we realize there are still places around us where people have not heard. This particular church plant, like many others I am seeing, is going intentionally to these kinds of places. It challenges us in our roles at Northland to continue to not only strengthen our Bible core but to improve the skill sets that will help bi-vocational ministers (discover, develop, deploy concept). This seems to be the model that is working today—teams going to needy and difficult areas who are willing to roll up their sleeves and accept a bi-vocational roll with enthusiasm.