Rick and Jamie Schwartz
1. Describe your call to plant a church.
My call to church planting developed over a few years. God has always given me the passion and ability for evangelism and reaching those who are unreached, but it was through conversations and experiences in college and seminary that God called me to church planting. In seminary, I had the privilege of attending the core group meetings of a church plant as well as interacting with key mentors involved in church planting, and through that experience, I sensed God's call on my life to church plant. In addition, my wife was part of a church plant during her teenage years in which God shaped her into the woman she is today. For both of us, we want to help lead a church that is focused on proclaiming and hearing from God's Word and the Gospel, reaches the local community with the Gospel, and serves the community.
2. Describe the community where you are planting.
The exact location is still undecided. However, we do know that it will either be in Lima, OH or a surrounding community. It is a small city, rural environment with lots of opportunities for ministry to individuals and families.
3. How are you developing your core group or launch team?
We look forward to moving to the area during the summer of 2011 after finishing seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. We do not know officially how this will proceed, but I envision weekly meetings of eating together, worship, Bible study, prayer, and vision formation for the church as well as consistent, intentional opportunities for us as a community and individually to share the Gospel with our neighbors and friends and serve the community.
4. What is the church's vision?
These are not crafted yet, but everything we do wants to flow out of the Gospel. In other words, we believe that the Gospel is necessary for believers and unbelievers. For believers, the Gospel reaffirms their identity in Christ, nourishes their growth, and motivates their action. For unbelievers, the Gospel challenges their identity, demands a response, yet generates an invitation. As believers are built up in the Gospel, they live out the Gospel in their lives and are equipped to share the Gospel.
5. What does community life look like in your church?
I am impressed with the mother church's community, Grace Community Church in Lima, OH. They are a community that loves to study and hear from God's Word as well as love one another, and based on that picture of community, I believe the church plant will imitate its mother church as well as develop intentional communities that serve the community and share the Gospel together.
6. How can we pray for you?
Pray for us as we begin the fund-raising process.
Pray that I would finish seminary well (graduation in May 2011).
Pray that we would continue to grow in the Gospel and God's grace in our own lives as well as share the Gospel in our lives.
Pray that God would continue to work in the Lima, OH area.
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