Prayer Partner Update – February 2018

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)


Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

With Ezra, Elena, Judah and Simon

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)

We are thrilled to send you this first “official” update from our church planting work here in Kalamazoo, MI! Heidi and I are now settled into our new home, and are settling into this new exciting role. Of course, the winter snows of Michigan are a bit UN-settling at times (especially since Heidi commutes over 50 miles to her job in Grand Rapids), but this too shall pass!

As a church planting “resident” on staff at The Bridge (RCA) in Portage, MI, I have spent the past five months learning, preparing, and building relationships with people who are going to join us on this holy adventure. And God has been graciously and wonderfully providing every step of the way. It’s amazing how we can see the Holy Spirit at work when we decide to follow Him faithfully!

In January, we began forming our “Launch Team,” who will be the committed core group of the new church. Our goal was to have 30-40 adults on this Launch Team, but God has given us 50 adults and 15 children! Amazing! This group represents all generations, and comes out of seven different churches. Of course, we’re not done yet; these are just the “harvest workers” Jesus is telling us to pray for (Luke 10:2).

Our first gathering of this new Launch Team was last Sunday, Feb. 4. These weekly 2 1⁄2 hour gatherings are called G.A.M.E. Time! Which stands for Gathering, Accountability, Motivation and Equipping.



That’s how we began our first Launch Team meeting for the new church last Sunday, Feb. 4!  That might sound like strange advice from a new church planter, but is it? Until we learn how to be disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus, we have no business planting a new church. It’s like Vince Lombardi gathering his team together at the beginning of every NFL season and beginning by holding up the pigskin and saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Fundamentals… And so, we’re starting there, where Jesus started, when he told his disciples “Go, and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19)

We have started by reading a book together by Dan Grider entitled Starfish Movement: Unleashing the Unstoppable Mission of Jesus. The book considers what it means to be disciples who make disciples: by engaging people around us in spiritual conversations, identifying disciplable people, sharing God-stories, and inviting them into deeper relationship with Jesus and His followers. As Heidi and I have been practicing these simple habits, we have seen the Holy Spirit open up doors in remarkable ways. One of those doors led us to Bethany and Lee. We met Bethany and Lee when we were seated next to one another for breakfast at a local café. The Holy Spirit prompted us to engage them in a meaningful conversation, and two hours later we had become friends! Please pray for this young couple. They are seriously disillusioned with the church and need to be reconnected to the life that is only found in Jesus. Heidi and I continue to meet with each of them regularly and encourage them to find the heart of faith in the work of Christ. This is just one of the many relationships God has placed before us. Jesus’ message goes forth one conversation at a time. Our Launch Team’s first goal is to radically increase the number of these connections & conversations.

5475 Ravine Road, Kalamazoo, MI

In addition to a vision for the work we are being called to, the Holy Spirit has led us to a place. Twin Lakes Reformed Church in Kalamazoo will be completing their season of ministry on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, at which time we will receive possession of the facility and property. The building needs some updates and renovations, but is in remarkable condition. It is also debt free, as the Southwest Michigan Classis of the RCA decided to pay off the remaining mortgage last month! Again, the Lord provides! What a blessing…what a God!

Financially, this new baby church is being well supported by our parent church, The Bridge. The Bridge is healthy and thriving, and they have a goal to plant ten new churches in the next ten years! The people and the leadership are committed to this kingdom goal in every way—by supporting us financially, sending their best people, working in cooperation (not competition), and praying alongside us for the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance.

Of course, we need your support as well! You have been a faithful partner in the past and we thank God for your continued faithfulness through prayer and financial gifts to our ministry. As we begin this journey as a Launch Team, please pray…

–  Pray for individual growth and transformation within each of us as Team members;

–  Pray that Team members will become laser-focused on the mission of Jesus;

–  Pray for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit and a renewed passion for prayer;

–  Pray that our Team can grow closer to one another in love, without losing sight of the people around us who need to hear and see the gospel good news;

–  Pray for softening in the hearts of people we engage with, and a receptivity to the message of Jesus;

–  Pray for generous financial provision for the renovation work on the facility at 5475 Ravine;

–  Pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation for me as a leader in this new adventure (Eph. 1:17);

–  Pray for spiritual protection from the attacks and deceptions of the Evil One, especially as they are targeted at marriages and friendships

And know that you are in our prayers as well! If you wish to communicate with us, we welcome your emails and letters and we treasure your friendships. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all; now and always!

Pastor Philip Rose

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