Thursday, September 20, 2012

Diving In

God continues to amaze me with His goodness, provision, and faithfulness! God recently called my wife and me to leave a full-time salary and help with Relate Church, a new church plant in Hendersonville, NC.  We have been blown away with the heart of this church. It has been such an awesome challenge working with leaders who have an unquenchable passion to reach this city, and to branch out in order to reach more cities. The passion is not to grow Relate but to fulfill the Great Commission, if the church grows from outreach, then great, but the heart is to reach the lost, period!  I know that many of you have been praying for Melissa and me since we have begun this journey so I wanted to give you all an update on how things are going so far.

Since we have moved we really haven’t had a chance to catch a breath and have just dove right in head first. Don’t get me wrong, we have loved every minute and are not complaining whatsoever. It’s amazing how we knew this summer that God was saying NOW is the time to trust Him and move. Well now it all makes sense as Relate has tripled in size within the past month. We recently have gone to two Sunday morning services: 9:35am & 11:15am. We have been averaging around 150 counting both services, however, this past Sunday we had 177 in attendance and 12 people received Christ. We are already discussing a third service as our second service has been pretty packed with people sitting on the floor this past Sunday. With our location being the Skyland Theatre in downtown Hendersonville, it has opened doors for us to minister to so many people. The opportunities that I have had to share Jesus with people this past month have been unbelievable. During the Applefestival this year downtown Hendersonville was packed with tourists from all around the southeast. Since we are right in the middle of downtown, we opened up our church to the public offering clean restrooms, free waters, or just a place to get out of the heat. This turned out to be a huge hit because the only restrooms available were on just one side of Main St, and local businesses wouldn’t allow you to use the restroom unless you were purchasing something there. We had around 3,000 people pass through our church that day, and everyone was so appreciative. This opened up opportunities for many conversations about Jesus and the gospel. That evening our band did a concert in the theatre, and rocked out! I was so humbled by the number of Relate volunteers who gave up their entire Saturday to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and actually had fun doing it. I didn’t hear one complaint from anybody all day, and we really just had a blast serving and loving people.

This has just been one example of the heartbeat of Relate Church and our desire to show the love of Christ to the community and ultimately the world. It has certainly been a ride and we are excited with what is to come. This move has certainly not come without its share of challenges and the enemy has been on the attack, but by the grace of God we are pressing on.  Continue to pray for us as we dive in and get our hands dirty. We aren’t here to cruise and be comfortable, but to serve and see Christ glorified. Pray that we will stay focused on the prize and call that God has placed on our lives. We give God all the glory for everything He has done through us and Relate Church. Without Him we are nothing, but through Him we can do anything!

Up Til Now

Here is an exact timeline of our call and move into church planting. This explains how and when everything began and how we ended up where we are now. I actually wanted to post this around the first of August but since moving we haven’t had internet. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

  • August 2011: God had begun challenging Trey and I in our faith. Changing, challenging and creating a new heart towards ministry. Not sure what He was about to do.
  • November 2011: Began praying about the possibility of church planting. That same week Trey was contacted by Tim pastor of Relate asking if we felt called towards church planting.
  • December 2011: Met with Tim and Lori for the first time. We had a huge pile of questions we were going to ask to find out if their hearts toward ministry matched what God had been doing in our lives. We didn't even have to ask a question, without us saying a word as Tim and Lori poured out their hearts it was ridiculous hearing them expressing their passion and how it aligned with this burden that God had created in our hearts. I have no idea how to express how it matched perfectly with the challenges God had placed in our hearts.
  • February 2012: Visited Relate, we were just going to help and see what it was about. We could not imagine it working out. There were too many details that the Lord could only accomplish Himself. The Sunday we visited there were probably around 20-25 ppl. but the Spirit was thick! When we visited, despite how impossible it seemed, we knew God was moving us there. We began praying some pretty large Sun Stand Still Prayers (Joshua 10:12-14).
  • March 2012: Relate faced a pretty intense trial that could have easily, if given the chance, had the power to crumble the ministry. Not caving to the trial, the leadership sought the Lord and trudged forward.

Sun Stand Still Prayers Included:

    • More Leadership help.
    • How and when the Lord would move us.
    • We had children staying in our home at the time and we had prepared that it would be long term.
    • Where would we live?
    • At the beginning of this I had been babysitting for a family who was dependent on me. In December I had begun praying for the Lord to provide a new full time babysitter for that family, but I didn't know what was going to happen in our future so I was unable to tell them about it.
    • We began praying for significant church growth, and Hands and Feet to help disciple the growth that was already happening.
    • Praying for encouragement for Tim and Lori.
    • We began praying for hands and feet that would step in and fill in the gaps at Calvary, so the Youth Ministry would have a smooth transition.


  • May-June 2012: Tim was contacted by Pastor Chris Pace, pastor of Ascend Church. The Lord had brought Relate to mind repeatedly so Tim and Chris met and realized that the passion and the burden that God had placed on each of their hearts aligned perfectly. Better than perfectly, the areas that one lacked was the other one's strength and vice versa. After much prayer they decided to merge the churches.
  • July 22, 2012: Proposed the merge to the churches officially on August 5. Also, planning to add an additional morning worship service on August 12 and had a 100% approval!!!
  • July 29, 2012: Relate had 104 visiting during the worship service - Before the merge. Also, more children than they could have possibly anticipated.
  • August 1, 2012: Relate was offered an additional room to help with the children’s ministry from an adjacent restaurant!!! Praise the Lord, also Free of cost!
  • August 5, 2012: On the Sunday of the merge Relate reached well over maximum capacity (150 in attendance) and made good use of the new children’s area!!! (: Praise the LORD!
  • August 12, 2012: Our family's first Sunday to serve at Relate! We split into 2 morning worship services.

Since the Sun Stand Still Prayers beginning in March - God has blessed Relate with seven pastors, including Trey being the new missions/outreach pastor and an amazing leadership team. So to say GOD is at work at Relate Church would be an understatement.

We are DOWN with reaching this TOWN!!!