Over the weekend of April 19-21, the Texas District, in cooperation with Gloria Dei, Nassau Bay, Memorial, Katy, and Resurrection, Spring hosted its first-ever Church Planting Lab. Seminarians from St. Louis and Ft. Wayne and a potential SMP student participated over the weekend.

Attendees were exposed to the general guidelines for planting a congregation in the Texas District. They also gained perspective from various planters about the First Article methods they use in planting, how planting is funded, and their personal journeys to church planting. The planters also shared their models of ministry and ways of reaching out to the community. On Sunday morning, participants observed—and participated in—set up for worship in the two church plants’ temporary facilities.

The future pastors expressed sincere appreciation for their time in the Houston area. After the event, one wrote, “Thank you for sharing your time, ministry, food, & wisdom with us! It was great to see how so many different churches and people can support each other and work together on God’s mission for the people of Houston. May God continue to bless you and your work.”

Said another, “What a memorable and formative experience we had last weekend. It was as much as I had hoped for and more. I will serve my vicarage year at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Gresham, Oregon, and I will use many of the things we learned during the Lab. Hearing from so many of you who are on the front lines engaging in this work was very inspiring; the work you’re doing is so important. I would change nothing about the weekend…”

The district aims to reach even more potential planters with events like these in the years ahead. Whom do you know who might be encouraged to be a church planter?

By Jon Braunersreuther, D. Min.
Director of Districtwide Strategy
Mission Strategist—Area D