One of the most inspiring speeches given by a United States President was John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot Speech” on September 12, 1962. The Moonshot Speech inspired the country to reach the moon. This dream for the country was the biggest, boldest, scariest dream. It seemed impossible at times, but as JFK said, “We choose [this dream] not because it is easy, but because it is hard…this challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
Newlife Church, located in the Silverdale, a suburb of Seattle, has their own Moonshot dream. Their Moonshot is to launch forty new locations by Easter 2019. This is definitely a big, bold, dream. Dan Serdahl, newlife’s Lead Elder shared this Moonshot during Stadia’s Catalyst Gathering recently in Las Vegas, where a group of leaders passionate about seeing their region transformed through church planting gathered to dream and strategize.
When discussing the journey of Newlife Church, Dan explained, “God planted eight churches; we planted three.” He meant that out of all the church plants it was always the ones led by God-called leaders that grew into healthy reproducing churches. The other three? Unintentionally-the other locations were launched with leaders not called or under-equipped to the challenges in birthing something new. You cannot simply assign staff to plant a new church, you must send called people to plant a new church. If the leader is called and not just assigned, it’ll work every single time.
Gabe Kolstad, a catalytic leader from Westside Community Church in Beaverton, Oregon shared that Kingdom expansion will happen when Christ followers take “spiritual ownership of their geography.” And so Dan’s dream of reaching Puget Sound starts with leaders being called to their apartment blocks, their neighborhoods, and their city. As a called leader you can help heal the world by beginning to heal your city. New Life’s Moonshot will happen when leaders take spiritual ownership of their city.
That is why we care about church planting. It allows the church to become an intentional community in the city, for the city, led by God-called leaders.
Many times church planters get caught up in the “rules” of church. They get stuck in the little details of having the right amount of teachers and worship leaders, having an attractive space where the church gathers, or having a certain number of people from day one. While all of these factors can lead to a successful, multiplying church plant, they also can be limiting when they take the spotlight away from Christ. The people are the church, no matter how many teachers you have or how big your building is. You don’t need to have all of those factors figured out to be the church, especially when people become the church and take spiritual ownership for their city.
At Stadia’s Catalyst Gathering, leaders talked about how the church is God’s “plan A.” The pains and hardships of the city are not going to change without the church. The church is the way God desires to reach his people. Churches that bring light into darkness are started when people are called, and when people become the church.
Our dream is to plant churches with God-called church planters, that are in their city and for their city. Our dream is for church planting to not become stagnant but to be constantly multiplying and reaching those far from Jesus. We may look at this dream and think it is a big, bold, scary, and maybe even impossible dream. But it is God’s plan A, and our Moonshot is helping enough catalytic leaders like Dan and Gabe plant churches until one day when every child has a church.
It won’t be easy, but it is a challenge “that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win” in the name of Jesus
Molly Williams, Planter Development Intern
Molly graduated from UNC Wilmington in December with a degree in English Literary Studies with Honors. She is attending North Carolina State this summer to get a Masters of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in secondary English. Molly grew up in a Stadia church plant and has been heavily involved in campus ministry at UNC Wilmington. She is currently a high school youth volunteer at her home church and is the daughter of Stadia church planters Donnie & Cinda Williams.
Are you a catalytic leader who is ready to expand God’s Kingdom through church planting? Stadia is ready to help you start high impact churches in the U.S. and around the world.