I have fallen behind on my goal of keeping this blog up to day - due to traveling & laziness.
Below is all the Prayer Warrior Update for the Advent Church plant. I have a goal of having at least 250 or more families and individuals praying for this adventure of faith. If you would like to pray - read on! If you would like regular updates e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you who are new to the "Prayer Support Team" for Advent Church and Ken Cross, Church planter. The previous prayer requests and many answers to prayer are below and dated. The most recent communication is always on the top and bold. I ask you to take time to pray as you open this e-mail and read it. I certainly would like you to pray more regularly if you can. My goal is to keep you up to date with an update at least once a month and sometimes more often.
If you would like to be taken off this list just let me know.
Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, 2009
Just a quick praise - I believe due to your intercessory prayers.
As you know one of the big hurdles to starting a church is that I presently live almost and hour and a half from the target area - the Steele Creek area of Charlotte. My Oversight Commission (pastors and elders from the Charlotte area that are very supporting of me, the new church and willingly volunteer to provide wise oversight), has encouraged, prayed and with me set a deadline of being "on the field" of early this summer.
God has answered that prayer. My home in Southern Pines is to close on April 27th and just yesterday Lynn and I signed a contract on a home in Steele Creek. We are to close on April 29th! Thank you for praying! This is big.
One other praise - the Prayer Support Team continues to grow. I am sending this to 151 families or individuals!
Also, I am schedule to start another "Your Questions Evangelistic Bible Study" this Thursday night.
Remember to pray for me as I preach to the dear folks of Harbor Church near Lake Norman this Lord's Day!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Here is the title for this update: Great Time to Start a Church, Terrible Time to Raise Funds for a Church Plant
On the morning radio news today the new stat was that 8.1% of the potential working indivduals of our country are unemployed. The last time America was near 10% was in 1982 right after the Carter years. And it seems to be getting worse. In Charlotte there is 12% unemployment and 20 minutes down the road in York Co. SC, very near the target area (Steele Creek, NC) there is 17% unemployment. This means people are under pressure financially and every other way. An old comedian one said that most marriages do not fail due to incompatibility but the first two syllables of the word! When individuals and families are in distress -or when there is any other major transition like divorce, moving, new child ... people are more willing to hear the good news of the gospel. A great time to start a church. But for the same reasons "income and the fear of this economy" tend to hinder my fund raising efforts. So pray please as you read this update and reflect on these things!
I am still searching for health insurance. It will run out on May 1, 2009.
Praise: the Prayer Support Team you have joined is growing. My goal is 200+ families or individuals. Presently you are one of 117!
Fund Raising Goal $225,000 over four years. Many churches are struggling and/or have already made commitments for this year. Pray that many will be able to joint the team next year and their four year commitments will allow for a gradual reduction of support in the future. My Oversight Commission seems to be very please with my progress in this area but as you can imagine it seem so very slow to me. But there is growth. Presently there is $138,897 either pledged or has come in support.
Lynn, my wife, is due to have her thyroids take out in the next 2 months because they found pre-cancerous cells.
My house in Southern Pines is moving toward a closing date of April 27th. We have made offers on two homes in Steele Creek but have not come to an agreement of a price yet. The sellers are very proud of these homes and have not heard we are in a buyers market!
I will be preaching at Harbor PCA near Lake Norman March 22nd and there is a possibility that they might be able to support us! I will also be presenting the Church Plant to Uptown Church which is already supporting Advent on April 26th.
Lynn is leading a woman's Bible study for Westminster Church in Albemarle and enjoying teaching the Beatitudes. I am thoroughly enjoying leading the "Your Questions BS" in Charlotte. We got "snowed out" last weekend.
Next month I will begin a series of "Cottage meeting" to meet with individuals interested in hearing about this ministry with a view of prayer and financial support.
Next week, Lynn, Rebekah and I are traveling to Sioux City, Iowa to watch our Covenant College freshman daughter Margaret play in the NAIA National Championship tournament. Margaret began the year playing very little off the bench and the last 8 games she has started. They are also on a 8 game winning streak. A proud Dad says there is a correlation! She is excited but next week is also her spring break and if we did not go we would not be able to see her. And who knows if she will ever get to the "Big Dance" again.
Would you also pray for the individuals and churches that are faithfully support this ministry. They would not want to be listed but they mean so much.
Thank you do much for praying today!
February 23, 2009
This last weekend I had the great delight to be the Missions Conference Speaker for Northgate PCA in Albany, GA. I pastored there from 1988-1993. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends, see how everyone has aged ... it was a flood of memories. The folks were so affirming - great for my soul.
Many more that have joined the Prayer Support Team! Thank you.
Of special significance was spending time with one of my best prayer warriors, Evelyn Brooks. She has been praying for me everyday since about 1989. I believe that so many of the victories in my life, and ministry and much of my sanctification is due to her prayers. She does not have e-mail so she is the only one I will be mailing prayer requests!
In just a few minutes I will leave my brothers house for a 2 day conference in Atlanta on church planting. Pray that God will use this for my good and the good of the future Advent Church!
Dear Prayer Support Team,
February 18, 2009 UPDATE
In Philippians 1:3-6, the church planter/Apostle Paul writes, "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." Paul, who accomplished so much, recognized and expressed his appreciation for the generous partnership of the Philippians that made it possible. I want to say the same thing to you. Thank you.
If you are new to the "Prayer Support Team" for Advent (Mission) Church, below are previous updates that can catch you up. It is exciting to keep this sort of journal of requests and answers to your prayers. So be sure to thank the Lord for what has already happened.
One prayer request - pray for us to arrange insurance for our family in due season! We especially need to join a group that will allow Lynn's pre-existing conditions.
Here is another story - Last Sunday night we started another "Your Questions Bible Study" in the home of Matthew and Jen. It went very well, even though their friends could not come for the first meeting. Monday night we had dinner with Ben and Jessica who were also at the study and they stayed much later than I had the previous evening. Matthew and Jen shared with them that God is using this time to open doors for their relationship with God that they have never walked though before. That night might have also been the first time they ever prayed out-loud in a group. Do you remember when you did that? Keep praying for them and their friends!
We are trying to coordinate a second "Your Questions BS" with Kevin & Michelle. Right now Michelle's Dad has been seriously ill with a stroke and has postponed it. Pray for healing for Michelle's Father and the right timing for the outreach Bible Study.
We are to close on our home in Southern Pines April 27th. Yesterday, we made an offer on a home in Steele Creek and hopefully we will close on April 29th.
Tomorrow (2/19) I leave to preach at a Missions Conference at Northgate Presbyterian in Albany, GA. I pastored this church for 5 years (1988 - 1993). I will be staying with a dear prayer partner who does not have e-mail but has prayed for me everyday since I left GA. It will be great to see her. I had the privilege to know her husband and bury this dear man, other Roy, many years ago. I will remain in GA a number of days after the conference for two other conferences on church planting and leadership near Atlanta and then return the next Friday.
1. Pray for a Prayer Support Team of at least 200 - presently there are 94 families or individuals.
2. Praise the Lord for a great worship time with Church of the Redeemer in Monroe (2/1). This week I also received an invitation from their Missions Prayer Team to meet with them as they pray for missions.
3. Fund Raising is continuing. My goal has been $225,000 over a four year period. God is answering prayer as He prompts churches and individuals to invest in the Kingdom by supporting this mission church. Presently, we have 1 presbytery supporting us more than they have ever supported a church planter, 5 churches with 8 in process and others still to contact, and 14 individuals with many more in process. All of this totals to $138,497 either pledge or already given. If you would like to be a part of this "over and above your tithe to your local church" investment in the Kingdom - even if it is $5 a month, please let me know and I will get you the information!
4. Pray for the scheduling of the "cottage meetings" with potential "Financial Support Team" members in the near future.
5. ALWAYS PRAY FOR MY WALK WITH THE LORD!
6. House buying and selling and eventual moving!
7. Pray for my daughters at home especially. Karen who will be attending her fourth school in her high school career next fall as a senior. Rebekah will be in the 8th and the new kid again.
8. Lynn and I are more than ready to be in Steele Creek - pray for patience.
9. Pray for the next person to come to Christ through the ministry of Advent Church.
I have been reading the Charlotte Observer every weekday and it is so obvious that the city and the country is struggling. There is financial crisis with job loses ... a hard time to raise money but a great time to share the gospel. Remember that when God brings people into your life!
Remember to stop and pray now!
Jan. 26, 2009 Update
- God is so good. A couple in the "Your Questions Bible Study", Matthew and Jennifer, last night said they will host another 6 week study in their home and invite friends they have who they know need the Lord. I am so excited. I am praying that this will cause a snowball effect and another evangelistic study will spring from this with a new couple ....
- I will be going to speak at a missions conference in GA the weekend of Feb. 21.
- The elders of NorthCross cannot support the church plant until the new fiscal year begins in June. But is so many other ways their pastors and elders are so very supportive.
- Since the last update numerous individual supporters had given and 2 churches have made commitments to invest in this gospel work. One for 3 years and the other only makes one year commitments at a time. Presently I am just shy of $130,000 toward a goal of $225,000.
- Tomorrow, Lynn and I will sign a offer to purchase our home in Southern Pines. We were in the "give and take" process for a while, with me mostly giving. This is a major praise! We are to close April 27th. Lynn is ready to pick out a now house last week. Pray that the closing really does happen! And I am praying that the buyers market will be kind to me like it was for the buyers of my home!
- Next Sunday, Feb. 1, I will be preaching a "Missions Sunday" and a supporting - Church of the Redeemer in Monroe, NC.
- Instead of filling the mailboxes of churches in the PCA with my propaganda I have been sending e-mails to pastors of churches in GA that have websites. I read their websites praying for them and trying to determine if they would be willing to invest in a church plant in Charlotte. I have been so encouraged by the response - not promised to support at this point - mostly because they are supporting the church plants of they are mothering or one close to them. It encourages me for the Kingdom! I will try to finish up Ga and then start on SC. I have numerous reference letters, a few of them I send with this e-mail.
- Obviously there are some requests/praises you can glean from these updates. Here are a few more.
1. My walk with the Lord to grow stronger (Always pray for that, the more I grow the more I need to grow!)
2. Lynn will begin a Ladies Bible Study on the Beatitudes at a local ARP Church we have been attending and that support Advent. It will start next Wednesday.
3. For a prayer team of 200+. Right now you are one of 84
4. While typing this, I just got an e-mail inviting me to preach at Harbor Church, near Lake Norman to present the work in SS too!
5. At date to be determined, Uptown Church wants me to present the mission church and they are desirous of challenging families and individuals that live in the Steele Creek to join this gospel effort. This is a very gospel thing to do especially as they are about to mother their third Charlotte area church in the near future as I understand it.
6. After meeting with the pastor of the closest PCA church to the Steele Creek area, Harrison Spitler of Grace Church wants me to share the visions on a Sunday morning in June and the elders will come forward to encourage the pray if God is calling them to help with this mission church. At the same time they are in the midst of buying their first piece of land!
7. Pray that we will reach or financial goals ASAP!
8. Pray against the attacks of Satan. They are happening. I will not go into detail.
9. Pray for the next person to come to Christ through the ministry of Advent Church.
Jan. 6, 2009
The preaching went very well. I preached on Luke 9:1-6 when Jesus sent the disciples on a training mission to prove that He could provide when he was not present especially in the area of sharing the Kingdom truths. One very time sensitive opportunity for evangelism that I challenged them with was to gather their friends that do now know Jesus together in their homes for a 6 week Bible Study in which I give them 3x5 cards to ask anything about the Bible, Jesus, eternal life, Christianity ... and the studies that I will teach will answer those questions. That is what I am presently doing with Ben & Jessica Coulter - they are the couple that have joined Advent Mission Church.
Emma was baptized during the first official worship service of Advent. My oversight commission (elders & pastors for Charlotte PCA churches) allowed us to have this service so they would not have to wait so long until our second worship service - hopefully in September of 2009. We had about 25-30 folks attend and my son Oliver lead worship. It was great. Thank you for praying.
Now some new requests:
- I just heard from a church in Georgia that wants me to be at their mission conference and we are working out the dates. Pray. I will also try to meet with other churches in SW GA once the dates are firm.
- I am speaking at 2 Charlotte area churches soon. Church of the Redeemer in Monroe Feb. 1 and at Harbor Church in Mooresville (Date to be determined very soon.
- I will be meeting with the NorthCross PCA elders on Jan 15th to discuss possible support. I have preached for them in the past. They are in Cornelius.
- There should be a number of cottage meetings in the Moore County area in the next 3 months. Date have not been firmed up yet. About 6 families are hosting and inviting interested people to those meetings and I will share more of the mission and totally what is going on with my family and ministry.
- Today I met with the MNA Committee (Mission to North America) - which called me to this church planting ministry in Charlotte. They were very encouraging and affirmed me in the direction I am going. I am thankful for these wise men. One of the elders from a church told me that their church might be supporting Advent and they will be deciding tomorrow night - especially pray about that please.
- I am working on a major fund raising letter/mailing to churches and individuals that I do not know as well. I have gathered some reference letters of recommendation. Pray for favor. Many of these churches were church plants in the past 20 years and know what it entails to start a church from scratch. Pray that they will be willing to invest in this portion of the Kingdom!
- Praise - Pledged support is now over $110,000. My goal is $225,00 over 4 years!
- Praise - you are one of 60 families/individuals that is getting this e-mail. My goal is that the Prayer Support team will grow to over 200!
Dec. 27th, 2008
Thank you for be on my prayer team - I really depend upon you and your prayers. I sincerely believe that God answers prayers and if you are prompted to pray for me in Jesus name -- then those prayers are prompted by God and He will answer! I have always believed that you have not because you ask not! So will you ask God to:
- use me as I preach at Westminster ARP Church in the morning at 10:30 am
- I will be challenging the dear folks of this church to realize they are in the harvest field and give them a very interesting opportunity to reach out = more about that in a later update.
- Tomorrow at 3:00 PM Advent Presbyterian will have a special worship service in Stallings, NC to hear the preached Word and celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism - our first. Pray for Emma and her parents Ben & Jessica Coulter. Picture below. They are the first members of the Advent PCA core group. So I will be preaching twice - 2 different sermons. I need prayer!
Nov. 3, 2008
I am developing a prayer team for the Advent mission that I have the privilege to start as a church planter. You are either a long time prayer partner, a pastor of a supporting church, a supporter or on my oversight commission. If you do not desire to pray for this mission please let me know.
I am really excited and what you to be praying for a number of things! I will mention just a few.
- Sunday the 16th I will be leading an evangelistic BS at Ben Coulter's home for 4 or 5 couples that all are unbelievers and work at Wachovia. They know Ben but do not know one another. I am calling this "Your Questions Bible Study". On Sunday we will have some time to know one another and introduce the BS. I will also share a profile of God's grace in my life. The topics the next 5 weeks will be their questions about Jesus, the Bible, Christianity .... My specific request is that all of the will be there on Sunday, that over time God will save them and that we can have 1 or 2 other similar studies that these couples will host!
- Pray for my house to sell - I have lowered the price $30,000 already. The 2 things that must happen before we can move to Steele Creek is to sell the house and raise sufficient support.
- Pray for a "Cottage meeting" at Rich and Anne Smith's home on Wednesday the 19th as we discuss gathering more prayer and financial supporters.
- Prayer specifically for the 5 PCA churches that are praying about supporting this mission church for the next 3 or 4 years.
- And since you know me - pray for me and my walk with the Lord!
There is much more but I promised you just a few!
If you haven't checked out my blog - www.crossrevilo.blogspot.com