December 10, 2018
December 2018 25 x ’25 Update: Elders Approve Two New Church Plants
As you could see from the worship folder insert this past Sunday (Dec 9), within the first two years of our Fill These Cities: 25 x’ 25 initiative, Bethlehem has now planted six churches—one from a restart (Jumpstart), and five as brand-new churches begun by planters who have gone out from us with a team.
Just before Thanksgiving, the Downtown Campus Elders authorized two of these six as new church plants: Little Earth Fellowship (Minneapolis) and New Creation Community Church (Granville, New York). From time to time, I get asked questions about our church planting efforts. As a way to introduce to you our two newest authorized church plants, let me introduce them in response to common questions.
If someone asks, “What is Bethlehem doing about the tent city in Minneapolis?” answer with this: “Planting a church.” Little Earth Fellowship, Minneapolis, is led by our long-standing local outreach partner, Greg Mott. Greg and his wife, Kelly, have been ministering among Minnesota Native Americans for more than 8 years. During the course of time, they have come to focus their disciple-making work to the Little Earth Community of South Minneapolis. They presently serve with a growing team of leaders to bless children to adults through outreach activities such as after-school gatherings and basketball. They are gathering for a weekly fellowship Bible study group with any who are interested. The vision and prayer is that God would grow this fellowship into a church led by indigenous Native American leadership that would glorify Christ and bless the people of Little Earth for decades to come. Pray for T.J. & Chelsea Valtierra and Aaron & Paige Kalenze who are working in partnership with the Motts.
If someone asks, “Does Bethlehem ever plant in smaller towns?” answer, “Yes.” New Creation Community Church (nccgranville.org) in Granville, New York, is led by Joel Aubrey. Joel is a 2015 Bethlehem Seminary graduate who sensed God’s call to return to New York and plant a new church in the village of Granville (pop. 6,500). Many of you may remember Joel from his seminary years as the happy and always helpful custodian at the Downtown Campus. The church launched publicly in Spring 2018 and meets weekly for public worship and small group discipleship. Pray for the leaders Carl & Karen Beckler and Brian & Angela Verrette who partner with Joel.
This brings our total number of new church plants to six since the “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” vision began. In addition to receiving financial support and oversight from Bethlehem, both church plants intend to join the Treasuring Christ Together Network.
Praise God for the great things he has done!