Several months ago our church arranged for Dr. William Krispin of Citynet to come and act as a consultant for our church. He visited us for the first time last weekend.
Let me give you a little back ground on Bill, he told me to call him Bill. Bill grew up in Chicago and was disenfranchised with the church when his local congregation started to fortify themselves against the local community, even putting a locked fence up. He came back to church during college and eventually ended up at Westminster Seminary just outside of Philadelphia. As an intern with 10th Presbyterian he was given the opportunity to work with a elderly Anglo woman who was running a youth ministry to over two hundred kids in a African community, in south Philly. Her church was on the verge of closing, but she refused to leave because of the ministry with these kids. Bill’s internship gave him the freedom to spend alot of time with in this community. At the end of the year this woman agreed to leave the ministry if he would move to south Philly and continue to work with her kids. He agree and moved with his wife and lived and eventually planted a church in that area, while in Seminary. After he left that church, he planted two other congregation and helped to start CUTS an Citynet.
Somewhere in there he also managed to earn his doctorate and become a professor at Westminster Seminary. Citynet is who Bill currently works for, and it is a pretty cool ministry in Philadelphia. It deals with church relationships church planting and mercy ministry.
Meeting this man was like always loving baseball but never knowing who Babe Ruth was and then finding out who he is while he is teaching you to hit. If that brief bio. wasn’t enough he also worked with Harvie Conn, and Tim Keller.
As Covenant Fellowship’s summer intern I got the opportunity to tag along with our pastor and one of the elders for a lunch with Bill Friday before the workshop. It was awesome to hear him talk about his love for church planting and ministry and all of it came from experience. During the course of the weekend he confronted the leadership of the church with a model of being community church. He showed us that though we lived closed to our worship location, no one lived in the actual neighborhood, we all lived one or two communities away. He gave us two options: do worship where you live because you are in those communities, or become a part of the community where you worship, by relocating.
I had heard him say this sentiment over lunch, but when he finally address all of us on Saturday it felt like the room was electrified. My wife even wrote me a note saying “Are we moving?” I sent a note back “I don’t know are we?” Well we are still not positive, but it seems that our church has been set in motion, another man in the church address to me that he is currently considering a move and I wrote to the session informing them of our wiliness to relocate. It could be that we are going to be moving to a closed location to the Church.
There are so many questions I have. Are there RPs out there willing to come along side of us tin our relocation, because they have a heart to see the Gospel go to even the scariest of communities? If you are out there drop me a line.
It is hard to imagine but I have completed over thrity hours of seminary. I have learned so much. I cannot believe how little I knew about God before I came to RPTS and the odd thing is that even now the one thing I really know is that I know far to little.
This week has been a bit unnerving I had a ten page paper, and a final today. Tomorrow I have two final exams and a take home that is due. Thursday Im off but I have to do some work hours.
Finally friday I will have one final and some hours. Fortunately after that I get a bout a week off, well its not off Ill be working on the new rpmissions.org site.
Beyond my internship I have a few goals for this summer. Redo the youth room, post more often on this blog, and try to do a ton of reading that I haven’t had time for.
The thing I keep coming back to is Bruce Mawhnney’s diagram in Preaching with Freshness of how if you plan early you will have healthy stress but if you wait till the last minute your heart could pop like an over inflated balloon–Pop.