MCM in :60

Here’s a new addition to our monthly Catalyst Gatherings for our MCM Church Leaders…MCM in :60 – it’s a monthly update of the events taking place in the MCM Network…enjoy!

Check Out the MCM Ministry School

mcm-ministry-school_newlogoThis past year we started a new ministry school in partnership with Mission SOS. The MCM Ministry School is a branch campus of the Mission SOS Bible College in Stockholm, Sweden. Classes are held four days a week here in Pittsburgh at Allison Park Church. I have personally worked with the students at some of our MCM church plants this past year and am so impressed with their passion for God and ministry. If you know someone that is looking to go into ministry, I would definitely encourage them to check out the school. Here’s a brief explanation about the school:

The MCM Ministry School is designed to provide a prospective student not only with classroom training but with real life experiences in ministry. Every day we involve students in our PRAYER SCHOOL. Once a week, we engage in mcmstudentsPRACTICAL COMMUNITY OUTREACH in connection with one of eight churches that have been planted in Pittsburgh. Once a year, the students participate in an INTERNATIONAL TRIP to work in partnership with Mission SOS in a Signs and Wonders Festival among UNREACHED PEOPLE’S GROUPS.

The passion of the MCM Ministry School is to raise up faith-filled adventurers who are committed to living out the supernatural lifestyle of the book of Acts. The practical experiences come in the context of a growing church that is actively planting churches and sending teams to reach unreached people groups.

If you’d like more info, you can visit MCM Ministry School’s website at MCMMinistrySchool.com. Also, they will be hosting an OPEN CLASS DAY on May 8th from 9am to noon for anyone who is interested.

Element Church & Monthly Services

Yesterday our 8th church plant, Element Church, had their first monthly preview service. It was a great initial introduction to the community; the worship team was incredible; and we had 148 in attendance! During the service, I couldn’t help but think how amazing it was to see the group of 7 we started almost a year ago with now ministering to almost 150! Rich and his team were well prepared and laid out at a quality welcome mat to the community. I’m excited to see what God has in store in the coming months!

Now, some might ask, with such a great first preview service, why not launch now? Great question! The idea of monthly preview services has been explained in Nelson Searcy’s book, Launch, and to understand it, you have to first understand the main premise: The larger a church can launch, the quicker it will sustain itself, the greater the impact it can have. With that said, these services are geared toward accomplishing a few things:

  • Allowing the launch team to refine their process and work out the kinks in service planning & implementation. Without fail, there will always be a few things to correct and fix. Having a month between services allows the team to have time to correct these issues. The goal here is excellence.
  • It gives time for the leaders to focus on building teams, which in the long-run will impact the size and sustainability of a church plant. As people from the community come to the monthly preview services, leaders & members of the various teams (hospitality, tech, kids, etc.) that make up the larger launch team can look for possible team members and encourage them to join them in serving. The goal here is team building.
  • These services allow momentum to build toward the Grand Opening. Although a Grand Opening creates natural momentum, having some going in makes it only bigger. It’s like throwing gasoline on a small flame – it makes the flame bigger and more impacting. The goal here is pre-launch growth.

With this model of planting, the launch team still meets weekly. This weekly meeting should grow as the grand opening draws closer. Also, in between monthly preview services, there are ‘easy-invite’ events called comeback events. These might include a cookout, bowling, or other relationally-geared event. If you are looking to plant a church, I would strongly encourage you to check out Nelson Searcy’s book, Launch, and see if his model or portions of his model might work for you!

The Three Amigos

Brian Bolt | Greg Krowitz | Rich Jones
Brian Bolt | Greg Krowitz | Rich Jones

Earlier this week I happened to have our three most recent church planters in my office and snapped this picture. What a great group of guys! Here’s a little update on these church planters and their churches:

  • Brian Bolt, Pittsburgh City Outreach: PCO was chosen by the Penn-Del Ministry Network as one of two church planting projects this year. Because of that, Brian has been busy this month traveling and telling the story of PCO raising additional support to renovate the building they were recently given.
  • Greg Krowitz, BridgePoint Church: BPC celebrated their one-year anniversary this past Sunday. It was an incredible service as they celebrated this past year with a packed boxing gym! Continue to pray for them as they are currently looking for a more permanent facility to hold services in.
  • Rich Jones, Element Church: Element Church will hold their first monthly service in about a month (April 19) in Millvale. Keep them in prayer as they go through their monthly services in April, May, June & July and gear up for their grand opening on August 16!

MCM-Pitt Update

Pastor Chris Hezlep & the Ridgewood Church board with their sovereign church charter
Pastor Chris Hezlep & the Ridgewood Church board with their sovereign church charter

I know this is a little late, but it’s been a pretty busy week. This past Sunday brought with it some major milestone moments for a few of our MCM church plants (sorry for the alliteration!). Here’s a quick rundown of the big happenings across our city:

  • Ambridge Christian Center held their annual business meeting and officially changed their name to Bridgeway Church. Pray for them on Apri 5 as they a launch a ‘reintroduction’ to their community.
  • Ridgewood Church also held their annual business meeting on Sunday and finalized the process to become a sovereign church with the Assemblies of God. In light of Evangel Church merging with Ridgewood this past July, this was a big moment because members of both congregations had the opportunity to now be ‘charter members’ of this new sovereign church!
  • Also, during Ridgewood’s business meeting they voted to give the old Evangel building to Pittsburgh City Outreach as an investment into the Kingdom of God. I am so proud of this congregation for paying their resources forward, and I truly believe God will bless them for their generosity!

One of the incredible things about being part of such a great network of churches is that we’re family…we mourn together and this past Sunday we celebrate together! Congratulations Mike, Chris & Brian!!

Community-Driven Ministry

Our church planting network here in Pittsburgh (MCM) is one of community-driven churches.  That’s our passion.  It’s not finding the growing edge or the most affluent community to start a church.  We strive to find hurting, depressed communities that need Jesus and start a church in the middle of it all. Because of the need that is so often represented in our communities, it is very important that our church plants are community-driven.

Community-driven ministry is one that places a high priority on the needs of the community.  One of the major keys for a church is to have a proper perspective of its community.  A church that sees its neighborhood through a lens of frustration rather then one of potential won’t last very long.  It’s important to see your community as a priority, not a liability. God has placed churches and people in communities to help meet needs and show compassion.  The ultimate goal of a community-driven church is to provide ministry from the community to the community. Raising up insiders, community residents, to minister to each other.  If your a pastor and see your community as a liability, I encourage you to do one of two things:

  1. Pray for God to give you a burden for your community; or
  2. Pray that God will lead you to a community that you can have a burden for.

What are you doing to reach your community?  Do you view your community as a liability or as a priority?

Church in a School

currentaccbuildingTomorrow Ambridge Christian Center, one of our church plants, will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary! Over the last two years ACC has seen nearly 150 people come to Christ just during the weeks of CityReachPastor Mike & his team have some incredible things to celebrate tomorrow and it’s going to be an even greater day because of their big move.  Over the last couple years, the church has continued to grow and has now outgrown their current facility.  ambridgehs

Tomorrow is their first Sunday service in their new meeting location, Ambridge High School. Please keep them in prayer as this is a big step and could really open the door to impact more people with the gospel in Ambridge.

My prayer for ACC tomorrow:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:14-21)

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