Writings on Christianity

7 Highlights From My Church Planting Residency

7 Highlights from My Church Planting Residency:

Now that I have completed 2/3’s of my church planting residency at Redeemer Fellowship, its encouraging to look back and see some of the progress. Here’s 7 of the highlights:

1. Name and Location: We are planting a church in Naperville, IL and the name is Cross of Christ Fellowship. These two decisions required a ton of thought, prayer, and input from others.

2. Acts 29 Network Assessment: By God’s grace I’ve made it through the assessment process for the Acts 29 Network, and have been accepted as a church planting candidate. This was very difficult, but God has used it to confirm His calling our lives to plant a church. Through this, I’ve been blessed to learn from and get to know Ryan Huguley, Jeff Brewer, and Aaron Youngren (my assessors).

3. Core Team Formation and Fundraising: We have begun forming a core team and are working toward our fundraising goals. Currently we have 7 committed adults and about $600 per month raised–pray for us as we work toward having 40 adults and $6,000 per month. We are meeting twice a month for fellowship and prayer.

4. Pastoral Experience: I’ve learned much through shadowing Joe Thorn and being part of the elders’ meetings–these men are a great example of biblical elders. They have helped me think through various pastoral situations and have given me guidance and encouragement along the way. In addition to this mentoring, I’ve been able to oversee our leadership training and welcome/offering team, and have been leading a community group.

5. Website and Branding: Brian Malcom, an elder of our church, designed our logo and website. We also had some great help from Ben Schmanke, who took the photos we used for our website. (You can check out our website here:

6. Conferences and Books: I’ve attended some great conferences: Acts 29 Bootcamp, Together for the Gospel, Plant Midwest, Simeon Trust. I’ve read some helpful books: ‘Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting’ by Malphurs; ‘Institutes’ by Calvin; ‘Pastor’s Justification’ by Wilson; ‘Outgrowing the Ingrown Church’ by Miller; ‘The Conviction to Lead’ by Mohler; ‘Center Church’ by Keller.

7. Evangelism: This occurred through initiative evangelism (striking up conversations with people around the Riverwalk in downtown Naperville); at coffee shops; and at a weekly open mic night.

In my next post, I’ll share some of our goals for 2014.

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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