Thank for you for partnering with us
for the beauty of God,
the good of Denver,
and the joy of all nations.
We pray this update will encourage you to see a glimpse of fruit that is sprouting up from the seeds you are sowing in your prayers & generosity.
This 10 minute video gives a brief word of gratitude for our partners, big picture things you can pray for us in 2019 as we seek to make disciples, and a couple specific updates about what our life together as The Oaks Church will look like beginning in January.
*And I apologize for the video quality. This was recorded while sick, after a bunch of travel, and in a noisy downtown hotel room in Nashville. But the crazy hands let you know I'm passionate and serious :)
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Highlights from October & November
Halloween Neighborhood Love
On Halloween night we split up our leaders in three different neighborhoods to intentionally position ourselves to meet & serve our neighborhoods by giving the best candy for the kiddos & some hot cider & coffee for the grown ups. It’s been somewhat difficult to engage our neighbors, so we wanted to take advantage of the one night a year when they come to our doors. Please be praying for deepening relationships with people in our city.
People Group Training
The Oaks Leaders gathered in my home to hear from Jerico, a friend who works for The Send Network in the Denver Metro Area as an ethnic church planting catalyst. He helps equip, train, and coach dozens of ethnic brothers who are planting churches to reach the foreign born population in our city. Denver is home to over 175 languages, and 60 of those are represented in our part of town. We learned about how to speak the gospel into various worldviews & how to befriend people of different cultures.
Send Network Training
I was able to spend a few days in Atlanta at the central offices of The North American Mission Board for my orientation into The Send Network, the church planting initiative of the SBC. In addition to being aligned as a SBC church, we are partnering with The Send Network for local brotherhood in Denver of other like-minded church plants and collaborating together to join God in seeing the neighborhoods restored and to together multiply churches here & around the world. Will you pray for us & the 100+ other church plants being started in strategic cities around North America this year?
Growing as a Church Family
One of our leaders, Ben, leading us in a conversation of developing our strategy out of Biblical convictions. We have met regularly for these Strategic Planning Meetings throughout the Fall where we have been having depth of discussion & prayer around what 2019 looks like for us as we seek to be faithful to Jesus’ commission to make disciples of all nations. It has been refreshing & stretching to put everything on the table and truly develop our strategic programming of being the church out of prayer, the Scriptures, and discerning how to best fuel & equip disciples making disciples in an urban context.
Mile High Family of Churches
We have spent 2018 under the care of a church in downtown Denver, The Summit Church. Our friendship with the pastors here go back several years and we could not be more grateful for their friendship. Our church will be so much better because of their investment & example for us these months. We’re excited that the relationship doesn’t end when they commission us in February 2019. We will be the 3rd church to join The Mile High Family of Churches— a collective of interdependent churches that share common family vision, values, doctrine, philosophy of ministry, & traits. We’re grateful to have a depth of an ‘inner circle’ type relationship with pastors & churches in the city trying to do the same thing.
Our sending church in East Tennessee, Tri-Cities Baptist Church, invited me back this Fall to be part of their Neighbors & Nations weekend. Pictured above is their Give2Go banquet where they hosted over 300 people from their church to learn more about giving above & beyond to ‘Reaching the unreached, planting leaders, training leaders, sending disciples, and serving the vulnerable.’ This year’s emphasis was on planting churches & I was honored to share about what God is doing in Denver & how people can be invested in church planting around the world. Below is a sermon I preached later that weekend at Tri-Cities on ‘planting churches for the nations.’ If you want to hear more of the ‘why’ behind our vision to see the gospel take root, not just in our neighborhoods in South Denver, but also among the nations, give it a listen.
We are so grateful for the sweet partnership at Gravelly Baptist Church in East Tennessee who have been SO faithful to pray for us & care for us in tangible ways throughout this year. We’re eager to see what God will do with our partnership deepening in 2019. Churches really do start churches & we cannot do what we’re seeking to do in Denver without the friendship of churches like this one.
I had the opportunity this month to preach at the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) at East Tennessee State University to over 100 college students. ETSU BCM is doing a fantastic job making disciples through the church on the college campus & we’re grateful to be part of their sending pipeline for students to engage in what God is doing through urban church planting.
The Oaks Church will be 1 of 3 host church plants in urban Denver the summer of 2019 for a program called GenSend—an initiative of the Send Network, where we seek to cultivate environments for young adults to be equipped and engage in what it means to do everyday life on mission through urban church planting.
Interns will receive life-on-life discipleship with The Oaks leadership & other pastors throughout urban Denver, strategic equipping around a holistic paradigm of discipleship through the Church, and intentionally 'do life' in our neighborhoods and help meet tangible needs alongside our partnership organizations. If you know any college-aged students interested, send them our way! More info at theoakschurch.net/partner
Missional Leaders Coaching Cohort
I was invited to join a year long coaching cohort with Exponential— a network of church plants around the country focusing on multiplication & disciple-making. Exponential’s investment is such a gift as the leading thinkers in missional living & church multiplication help produce these resources & events. I have multiple video calls, required readings, assignments, and 3 cohorts where we convene in the same location to put into practice what we’ve been learning. Our first in-person training was this month in downtown Nashville focusing on what it means to make disciples. Please be in prayer for us as we begin to implement what I am learning in the culture & DNA of The Oaks as we head into 2019.
3 ways to pray for us
as we head into 2019
1 | Pray for our 1st baptism in 2019. Please continue to pray for boldness & discernment as our members live hospitable lives & speak the good news about Jesus with our neighbors. Pray people who are not yet enjoying Jesus would begin following Him this year.
2 | Pray for our disciple-making efforts. Beginning in January we will begin gathering each Sunday evening for prayer, communion, and to have conversations around the Word of our vision to be disciples who make disciple-makers. In March we will multiply our core team of members into multiple ‘Oaks Communities’— our primary means of spiritual formation & mission to see all daily grow in the grace of Jesus & be changed by the Spirit as we live as a family sent on mission together.
3 | Pray for kingdom investment. Our prayer is to leverage our resources (our money, our time, and our gifts) to join God in what He is doing to usher in His kingdom in our neighborhoods in South Denver & for the sake of His name among all nations. Please pray for continued provision to have the funds to equip our leaders so that we can utilize our internal giving for strategic work with our partners here & around the world. Pray for wisdom to know how to focus our efforts & for continued favor with people in our city.