Our time at Severns Valley has been a great opportunity.  Serving in three VERY different ministries has helped me apply my seminary knowledge, build up a ministry skill set, and most importantly I have fallen in love with pastoring people.

Upward Sports taught me to serve in the small ways faithfully, how to recruit volunteers, and how to handle conflicts in a Christ-like manner.
As an IT director I learned to budget, to care for the churches employees, and to problem solve.
Closest to my heart, pastoring college students and young adults gave a platform to preach from, a place to develop a framework for ministry, and a deep love for God’s people.

However, during this time the Lord began building in me a desire for church planting

Having conversations with other planters and receiving affirmation from those I pastor contributed.  Also, a number of articles and research played their part.

Kevin Ezell, our NAMB president, calling for more Kentucky church planters

Thom Rainer, the President and CEO of Lifeway, showing the decline of single site churches

Aaron Coe, the Vice President of Mobilization for NAMB, highlights the value of church planting

How can planting ever become a reality for us?

But with this new desire to plant churches also came the weight of the responsibility.  How can planting ever become a reality for us?  Is my preaching ready?  How will we be supported?  Where should we plant?  These questions, though difficult, were vital in us seeking out mentorship.

Enter Wes Pastor

A couple of years ago I was introduced to a pastor named Wes Pastor.  That’s not a typo, his last name is Pastor.  Wes was an answered prayer.  He planted Christ Memorial Church in Burlington, VT in 1992 that has grown into a healthy New England church.  However, his passion for planting did not end when he planted.  In 2000 the NETS Center for Church Planting and Revitalization was formed, enabling CMC to train up more planters to plant more churches.  Since then, NETS and CMC have planted a new church every two years.

Wes’s passion for the gospel, his heart for mentoring not only men but their wives, and his experiences in church planting planted a seed in the hearts of Abby and myself to go and learn from him.

The NETS Internship

We learned that NETS was interested in starting a one year internship designed for Seminary students who had just graduated or were nearing graduation.  They wanted to bring up a group of families, pour into them, help them translate their seminary education into practical pastoring, and send them out as church planters and revitalizers.   Through prayer and godly council, we knew that the NETS internship was for us.  It’s our desire that the internship will confirm in us God’s calling to plant, but nonetheless, I believe wholly that the NETS mentors are growing the kind of pastor and husband that I ought to be.  We are so thankful to be one of five families and a single guy traveling to Vermont this fall.

Things We Love!

I strongly encourage that our supporters check out the NETS site for more information, but here are some distinctives that Abby and I are excited about!

  • NETS is committed to couples.  Not only do they train men, they train their wives to serve well alongside their husbands.  Furthermore, they work to strengthen the marriage.  As I’ve heard them say, if a pastor’s marriage isn’t right, he isn’t fit to pastor.

  • NETS is sold out on sending.  Christ Memorial alongside of NETS has committed significant time and money to train up a next generation of pastors and church planters.  They have a heart for the peoples of the world that they may know Jesus and make his name great.

  • NETS is truly theological.  There is a commitment to theology and doctrine that doesn’t just fill one’s mind but overflows from the heart.  Take a listen to some sermons from CMC or check out the syllabus for the NETS internship.

  • NETS is adamant about accountability.  It’s for everyone, pastors and church members alike.  Accountability produces healthy marriages, healthy churches, and healthy disciples.  The NETS program itself has a deep Board of Advisers.

What will we do?

NETS is currently purchasing a 127-acre campus to expand their mentoring capabilities and gospel impact.  By God’s grace, this is where Abby and I will live and learn this fall alongside the other interns.  NETS has five ministry tracks that are used as the guidelines for training.  These tracks will play themselves out as we study with the other interns and our mentors, and also as we serve at Christ Memorial.

If you have eight minutes, check out this video.  You’ll see more about the campus and NETS passion for the gospel!

We need your help!

Throughout this entire process our hearts have begun to burn for the people of New England.  It has become a dark place and the statistics show it.  We need your help to make our training and planting a reality.  Please partner with us in prayer and consider supporting us financially.  Follow the links to see our needs.