A few years ago now Jordan and I spent time in prayer and discernment to understand what it would take for us to get to Paris. We landed on three steps that would need to be accomplished before we felt comfortable starting to plant our church. These three steps are (in no particular order): Paul to finish seminary, find a ministry organization to partner with, and grow Fresh Vine to sustain our expenses in Paris.
1 – Paul to Finish Seminary
Done on June 2, 2012
Originally we were not sure about even having Paul attend seminary, but in reflection this has been a huge step forward for us. Yet every trusted spiritual mentor in our life strongly encouraged us in this direction. At the time of writing this Paul is close to being finished and we have already both experienced a richer depth of understanding our faith, history of the church, and where we fit into all of this ministry/church stuff. This is very exciting, and we are so grateful to those mentors who encouraged us, and to Paul’s parents who helped us through seminary.
2 – Find a Ministry Organization
Done on May 30, 2012
Having an organization that shares your passions for ministry coming along side you and helping you is critical to your long-term ability to stay in the field. We hope to be overseas for the foreseeable future. Our goal is to find an organization/denomination that helps us in the following ways: mentorship and accountability, ability to raise support, legal church status in France (a very important piece), and freedom to minister in unique ways for a post-christian society.
3 – Get Fresh Vine sustainable
Being called to a city like Paris is exciting and overwhelming. Part of the overwhelm is the high cost of living. While we intend on raising a couple thousand in monthly support to pay for ministry expenses, our intentions are to cover the majority of our personal expenses. To accomplish this we have founded a company – Fresh Vine – that provides world-class online church management. As we grow our subscriber base we will be able to build out teams to maintain the product, and be free to move abroad while still providing leadership. This is a huge area of prayer for us.