Friday, June 09, 2006

This Group Gets It!

New Work Fellowship was planted in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1997. It has grown into a vibrant, thriving church. The missions emphasis of New Work focuses upon church planting. The church has been involved in sponsoring and supporting several new congregations throughout North America.

Likewise, the Youth Ministry at New Work Fellowship is a dynamic, evangelistic, church planting group. Youth Pastor Steve Coleman has made church planting the focus of his entire missions strategy since the summer of 2002. That was the year when his youth church planting team went to support a new church start in Lafayette, Indiana. The new church was being sponsored and supported by New Work Fellowship. His students led sports camps, Bible clubs, and performed other servant evangelism projects. It was a life-changing experience for the group. They fell in love with the town and the people. The entire team, with a few new youth church planters, returned to Lafayette in 2003.

Unfortunately, that new congregation floundered and failed. The lead planter left for another field. The church disbanded and the people were absorbed into other local congregations. The collapse came during the week of the group’s second church planting trip to the city. It was a difficult, heart-breaking week. But it was a great learning experience for the New Work group. Steve was able to help them understand that failure was sometimes a part of the process. In fact, often times many of the most important lessons in church planting can only be learned in times of difficulty and failure. He challenged them not to give up on church planting. The students got it … and very single one of them committed to go to another church planting field the next summer.

In 2004 the group traveled to Crofton, Maryland, a thriving township of 30,000 people, to assist Pastor Roy Jacques in planting the Journey Fellowship. Steve made the connection through a personal relationship with the worship leader at Journey. The New Work team led basketball camps (since everyone in Kentucky is an expert in basketball!), connecting with kids and families, and distributed thousands of flyers and invitations to a massive 4th of July carnival. The week and the event were immensely successful. The New Work student team has returned to support the church planting work at Journey Fellowship for the last three summers. Each year, they have witnessed growth in the church.

Youth Pastor Steve Coleman speaks with wisdom and experience when it comes to youth and church planting. He says, “These church planters don’t need people to come in and tell them how to reach their communities. They just need laborers to show up, be available, and minister within their strategies to reach the people of their area. They need passionate laborers. And our youth are a great labor force!”

Can youth take an active role in planting new churches? The New Work Fellowship youth ministry has proven it with five years of training and experience! If you want to take your youth ministry to the next level, if you want to have a Kingdom impact by involving your students in Church Planting, we can help. Contact us at . And, please, help us get the word out. We need your help to make this new ministry a reality.


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