Writings on Christianity

A Key Highlight of My Church Planting Residency

A Key Highlight of My Church Planting Residency

One of the most important and impacting components of my church planting residency has been being part of the Elders Meetings at my sending church.  Now, many would assume that being part of such meetings would be boring and tedious, but I’ve been really surprised how much this time has impacted and encouraged me.  This experience has given me a vision, which I hope and pray we will see in our own church plant, of a plurality of godly elders who shepherd and care for the congregation under them–I hold to the view that a local church ought to be overseen by  a plurality of qualified elders. (The elders of our sending church meet every other week; I sit in and participate, although I am not allowed to vote and am not given access to every situation–for some discussions I step out of the room).

Here’s some of what’s encouraged and impressed me most by my time with the elders of Redeemer Fellowship–things I pray God will raise up in Cross of Christ Fellowship’s elders (once we get to the place of having elders!):

1. These Men Love the Lord: The elders of Redeemer Fellowship are godly men who love Jesus. Their faith is genuine and sincere. This evidenCOCF_LightBG_onRedt in how they speak of God and their godly lives.

2. These Men are Humble: The elders of Redeemer Fellowship are humble and acknowledge their own brokenness, weakness, and need for Christ’s empowering through the Holy Spirit. They are not puffed up or arrogant, but humble and faithful.

3. These Men Love and Care for the Congregation: The elders of Redeemer Fellowship are each responsible for shepherding and caring for the members of the congregation. These men view it as a responsibility and a joy to look over and care for those under their leadership. Even when hard situations arise, they seek for the person’s best and desire to see them grow in godliness.

4. These Men are Led Well: Pastor Joe, one of the elders, leads the meetings and has been taking the guys once a month through the 1689 Baptist Confession. This allows the guys to grow in their theological training and learn together. Joe provides strong leadership and is humble in admitting he can’t do it all–he, like every good leader, needs others to help to accomplish the various ministries.

5. These Men Care for their Families: It is abundantly clear that these men care for their families and are not willing to sacrifice them for the sake of ministry. They love and sacrificially care for their families and inspire others to do the same.

As our church plant moves forward, we pray that God would add to our numbers and raise up godly elders to oversee and care for the flock at Cross of Christ Fellowship. Please join in praying the same for us.

[Cross of Christ Fellowship is a new church being planted in downtown Naperville and is part of the Acts 29 Network and the Southern Baptist Convention. To learn more, please visit our website:]




By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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