Church Planting in Waterboro, Maine
Zach Nelson, NACPF Executive Director, just returned from Waterboro, Maine about thirty minutes outside of Portland. Zach was meeting with one of our Pillar Network churches, Lakeside Community Church. Zach spent time with their lead pastor Barry Murry and their other elders. Pastor Murry also serves as a NAMB Catalyst. Zach reports, "One of the joys of my job is spending time with elders analyzing and thinking through discipleship strategy. Lakeside is a church that has a great passion and desire to faithfully equip their members for the work of the ministry. This was my first time to Maine and I can honestly say that my eyes were opened to the great need of church planting and revitalization in the many rural towns that are only a short driving distance from Maine’s urban center. I was also blessed with the opportunity to worship with Lakeside Sunday. Worshipping with our churches reminds me of the unity that each of our partnering churches are blessed to share. The Word was faithfully exposited, the worship was gospel centered, and the members displayed a great love for one another as they sought to minister to those in the body and those visiting. God is doing great things in Maine and the NACPF is blessed to be a part of it." During his trip Zach saw the great need for churches within our network and within evangelical life to be moving toward health. Zach says, "I’m more convinced then ever that a healthy church is focused on making disciples. When a church makes this their priority then it becomes a reproducing church. It reproduces faithful followers of Christ that are growing in maturity and in mission. These members strengthen the church and the missional strategy both in their community and outside of it. As God grows the church they are reproduce by sending out some to plant and revitalize churches in their Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. As we cooperate together toward these ends our churches must push each other toward heath."
Planting a church and seeing it grow rightly is hard work. As our churches grow, structures need to be put into place that will strengthen our disciple making and equipping responsibilities. Overcrowded space in children’s ministry, the growth of a strong small group ministry, the need to raise of more elders, deacons, and leaders, increased financial burdens, upkeep of facilities, these are just some of the great growing needs that our churches face. As we partner together we must coach each other and provide insight toward best addressing the structure that facilitates the growth of our growing churches.
Zach's goal in these trips is to encourage our pastors to faithfully persevere in the good work of leading, equipping, and pastoring their flock. It is his hope that he will continue to grow in this area. He considers it an honor and is humbled that he has this opportunity. Our pastors influence not only their own congregation, but also many pastors and planters in their surrounding area. There is a great need for our pastors to work and strive hard to encourage one another in the faith. Zach is thankful that this is one of the more important ways he can spend my time when I travel.
Please pray for Lakeside Community Church in Waterboro, Maine as they set their eyes on being a church that reproduces by faithfully making disciples in their city and seeking to strengthen other churches that will do the same.
If you are interested in planting or revitalizing a church in the Maine area please don’t hesitate to reach out to Zach Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Barry Murry (email@example.com) in Maine. We look forward to a long and meaningful partnership that will produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God in the years to come.