For the last 2 years, we’ve been mentioning off and on about “sending a church plant to Longmont,” and you’ve of course met our Church Planting Resident and his wife, Justin and Caitlin Chappell. Well, that is finally becoming a reality! In September, 2020, we will be (tearfully + joyfully) praying over them and any Longmont families who commit themselves to the mission of starting another church from scratch, and sending them out to give the “Gift” of the Gospel away in Longmont!
Wait… I thought you said that’s ‘finally’ happening…? That’s still a whole year away!
Correct! But we have a lot of work to do over the course of that year… Sending a church plant is a monumental task for any church, that is exponentially more true when the sending church is still a church plant themselves. We are, as they say, “building the plane while we fly it,” and actively trusting the empowering promise of Acts 1:8 to be true for The Table in Lafayette, as well as those we send to plant (To-Be-Named-Church) in Longmont. We will talk about the practical details of all that as we work through Acts, but here are a few important dates you can put on your calendar now… (Note: If you live in Longmont, Justin has already given you a timeline specific to your Neighborhood!)
Move to Centaurus High School (October 6th) :: In the last year, the number of people in a Cohort has doubled (!!!), Sunday morning attendance has increased by about 25-30% (summer to summer so far), and Table Kids is veritably bursting at the seams. In short, we need to make a lot more room for our neighbors!
Vision Sunday (October 20th) :: A blend of a typical Sunday morning and a Congregational Meeting, that week’s liturgy will be streamlined and shortened so we can discuss where we’re going and how we’re getting there, while also affording lots of extra time for Q&A with the Pastoral Team. We also hope to publish our first-ever “Annual Report” that Sunday to more comprehensively tell the story of what God is doing in/through our church family.
Membership Class (November 9th) :: Having a robust and healthy membership is a vital pre-requisite for “particularization” (the process for a church plant to elect and ordain elders, reach financial self-sustainability, and officially become an established church). All are invited, whether you intend to commit to membership or not (we hope you do!), and it’s an excellent way to “pop the hood” or “kick the tires” of the theological vision that… well… drives The Table’s approach to ministry (pun-intended).
End of Year Giving Campaign (Advent: December 1st-24th) :: As of the end of August, over $62k (18% of our annual budget) in support from outside organizations will expire, and monthly internal giving is currently 72% of what we need to be self-sustaining. Our goal is to close some of that gap with one-time, above-and-beyond giving to cover all of our “Missions” budget (support for the Chappells, church planting networks that have supported us, plus a few Table-specific initiatives we’re developing), totaling $40k. More specifics on Vision Sunday!
Volunteer Transitioning (January 19th-Easter, April 12th ) :: Over the course of 3 months, we will be gradually (very gradually) phasing out those on the Longmont launch team from their Sunday morning volunteer roles. If you get tired of us calling for volunteers this Fall, it’s because we will need to replace 20+ volunteers going to Longmont even as we add more to keep up with growth! Thus, if you consider The Table to be your “home,” we’d humbly encourage you to commit to serving on a Sunday morning just once per month.
A Final (Encouraging) Thought…
To say this is ambitious would be an understatement, and we confidently believe that this is what it means to be faithful stewards of the Gift(s) God has given The Table. Without a doubt, it is a God-sized vision that will take a comparable reliance on God to accomplish. If I’m really honest, writing all this feels simultaneously exciting and exhausting, both naturally inevitable and potentially presumptuous of God.
But do you want to hear the really crazy thing about all this?
The breadth and depth of growth needed over the next year for us to sustainably send a church plant to Longmont is still less than the fruit we’ve seen at The Table over the last year! I promise, I am not exaggerating (this time). It’s most easily felt in the longer lines to check in for Table Kids, the cramped foyer right after worship ends, or seen it in the thousand-yard-stares of our Staff or Pastoral Team who are faithfully working to ensure everyone is cared for and no one falls through the cracks (please thank them profusely and pray for them often!), but there are so many more stories of God’s grace that we look forward to sharing with you over the next year (and especially on Vision Sunday)!
Till then, take a deeeep breath, and pray for the power and presence of God to guide us as we seek to be the flourishing presence of Jesus in Lafayette, Longmont, and yes… to the ends of the earth.