Imprint’s own Anna Huebner is recently ministered in Rwanda, an area that we as Imprint Church support in many different ways. Her journey started about two weeks ago. If you missed Anna’s story of how this all came to be, you can check it out the blog post here.
“Join us in praying for Anna, as she prepares to depart for her second trip to Rwanda on Saturday. Pray for her personal spiritual preparation, for the team she’ll be ministering with, and for her to stay healthy.”
“Anna made it to Rwanda and had a busy first day. The team met with Johnson (the school superintendent, pictured here) and with some Rwandan educators. “A teacher is a pastor who has a congregation every morning,” Johnson said. They also toured the new Kigali sponsorship offices, where it looks like children were getting fitted with uniforms.”
“Anna got to visit Wilson and his family today. Two of his siblings are also attending Kibenga Primary School this year.”
“Teachers Conference Day 1 – Anna reports it’s going great so far!”
“Anna got to help the worship team in rehearsal for Sunday morning”
“Anna went to a Primary School today”
“With one of the secondary school students”
“Keep praying for Anna as she spends her last few days in Rwanda”
For the full story of Anna’s trip, check out @ICRwanda on Instagram!
One rainy day in October 2014 I had a lunch with Darren at Mediterranean Kitchen. I had begun to more seriously consider church planting, but hadn’t said anything to anyone about it. Over lunch I confided in Darren that it seemed God might be leading me this way and it freaked me out. Lindsay, too. He laughed and said, “You know what’s crazy? I just drove home from Portland last week and thought to myself, “I think I need to hire Tom Regan to plant a church out of Imprint.” I was floored. Up to that point I had not spoken to anyone openly about this growing conviction, including Darren, until that day. I’ve learned to recognize the fingerprints of God when he directs our lives. This was one of those occasions.
In my journey toward church planting I’ve come to realize that because I live in the world of vocational church ministry and have seen the growth of the church planting movement, I can easily take for granted that people “get it.” That they understand the compelling reasons for church planting. Many people of Imprint do get it, because they personally benefit from Imprint having been planted. They’re experiencing the fruit of it. But others perhaps come from church traditions and cultures with little exposure to or knowledge of church planting and the “why” behind it—and they have legitimate questions as to why Imprint has chosen to plant a church. Understandably, they (and maybe you, too) ask questions like, “Why plant a new church somewhere nearby on the Eastside when there are already good churches in the area?” Or, “Why not focus on helping churches that are struggling?”
8 Answers for the Question, “Why Plant a Church?”
1. Because lost people still need to be found.
To say, “There are already many good churches in this area,” is like saying, “There are already a lot of fishing boats out on the Puget Sound. So why do we need more boats? Let’s just work to make the current fishing boats bigger and better.” But if your mission is to catch fish (Luke 5:10, Matt. 28:19, 20), and the sea is filled with more fish than the current number of boats can catch, we’re going to need a lot more boats, which means multiplying communities of fishermen and boats (i.e. disciples and churches).
Or to employ another biblical analogy: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the LORD of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38). Church planting is a movement that has been gaining momentum over the last 15 to 20 years, and it’s one of the ways the Lord is answering the prayer to send more workers into his harvest. The old way of merely focusing on building your own church through simple addition is giving way to a new mindset of multiplication.
2. Because church planting follows a biblical pattern.
Christianity spread as the gospel spread and churches were planted. Jesus’ Great Commission is not simply to evangelize, though it necessarily includes that; It is to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20), which includes baptizing. Baptism means incorporating believers into a worshipping community, i.e., a local church. This is the pattern in the book of Acts (e.g., Acts 2:41-47).
Christians should not merely evangelize lost people and consider the mission complete if the non-Christian “makes a decision for Christ.” They need to be brought into a local body of believers where they can be shepherded and grow as disciples under biblically qualified leadership (Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). In order for this to happen more effectively, we need more local churches to bring them into, as every church, no matter its size, has a limit in its effectiveness in incorporating and discipling believers.
3. Because new churches best reach the unchurched—Period.
“Dozens of denominational studies have confirmed that the average new church gains most of its new members (60–80%) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshiping body, while churches over ten to fifteen years of age gain 80–90 percent of new members by transfer from other congregations. This means the average new congregation will bring six to eight times more new people into the life of the body of Christ than an older congregation of the same size.” (Dr. Timothy Keller, Why Plant Churches)
4. Because church planting benefits the Planting Church.
Churches that plant churches have been found to be healthier than churches that do not. This finding was not simply a case of already healthy churches being the ones that plant churches. Rather, planting a church resulted in greater health for the mother church. Planting churches keeps the spread of the gospel and disciple-making at the fore of a church’s priorities and energies.
5. Because we want to replicate biblical, Gospel-centered church DNA and ministries.
There’s no one-size fits all church. We want to replicate the healthy Gospel-centered DNA of Imprint and its ministries, from which the Bible is taught and the life of the church is centered on Jesus and the gospel.
6. Because planting a church more effectively enables every member ministry.
All believers are ministers (Rom. 12:6a; 1 Pet. 2:5; 4:10, 11). Starting new churches-rather than just growing one church bigger—presents opportunities for new people to serve in new ways in both the sending and new church.
7. Because God calls particular people to plant churches.
Throughout the history of mission in the Christian Church, God has called particular individuals to certain missional assignments. Some pastors are called to assume new leadership of established churches or revitalize struggling churches. Some pastors are called to start new churches. I (Tom) firmly believe God has called me to this work of church planting. This calling has been affirmed through both internal conviction and external confirmation from trusted, godly church leaders.
8. Because Imprint Church is at capacity.
Imprint is running out of space in our current facility. For this reason and all the reasons listed above, we believe planting a church is a wiser and more ministry-effective route than adding more Sunday gatherings or doing a capital campaign in an effort to purchase property or build a new and bigger facility for the church to gather in.
To Extend and Proclaim the Kingdom of God
Feel free to pass this information along to others who may also be wondering why Imprint is planting a church. Imprint’s leadership believes this is what God is leading us to do. It’s not driven by ego or human kingdom-building. Our aim is to extend the kingdom of God by proclaiming the King of the kingdom—Jesus Christ.
This is not easy and will in fact make things harder for Darren and Imprint. But “harder” has never meant “not God’s will.” Like others have said, “Planting a church is like having a baby. There’s never really a good time.” But you do it because it’s worth it. We’re planting a church for the sake of the mission to make and multiply grateful and generous disciples through the gospel of Jesus Christ. So pray for the church.
Church Planting Pastor
For a more in depth look at the philosophy and heart behind church planting, check out Dr. Timothy Keller’s article called, “Why Plant Churches?”, from which some of the above material was drawn.
On a warm September evening, I was walking on the Sammamish River Trail. I was awestruck by the beauty of God’s creation. The sun was setting, creating a pink sky and the river captured it’s reflection. While picking up my phone to take a picture, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me that I will not only see His glory in nature, but in the hearts of His children.
In the midst of my autoimmune disease and my parents’ broken marriage, I drew close to Christ. I found peace, rest, hope, and life in the arms of Jesus, when everything around me seemed to fall apart. For years God has been developing a growing passion within me to share the hope I find in Christ with others that so desperately need it. After participating in a missions trip to Reynosa, Mexico with Jenny Bossio of Imprint Church, God has been revealing to me that I need to live out my faith in the form of missions.
At the start of September, I will be taking part in the World Race Gap Year, a nine month long missions trip through Adventures in Missions. During these nine months I, along with 54 teammates between the ages of 18 to 22, will be going to Swaziland, Lesotho, Nepal, India, Nicaragua and Guatemala. We will be street evangelizing, ministering to orphans, visiting prisons, doing construction, and working with women and children previously trapped in the sex trade.
So far I have raised $9,249 and I have $5,751 more to raise before I leave in September of 2017. If you want to be apart of sending me out on this mission trip, you can donate online here.
You can also support me through prayer:
- For a healthy immune system (for my teammates & I)
- That everyone meets fundraising goals
- My preparation of heart and an ability to adapt
- Healthy, working relationships between teammates
*FOR ONGOING UPDATES YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO DANIELLA’S BLOG HERE
Watch this video for more about The World Race
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First off, I never thought I would be ever going to Rwanda. My story is one of obeying God’s calling, learning that God has a continuous plan for me and learning to lean into what He wants me to do, no matter how old I get or what circumstances happen in life.
On my first trip to Rwanda, I went with a team of 6 from Imprint in September of 2016. We spent 8 days on the ground, 4 in Kigali and 4 in Bugesera. We spent our time meeting with Africa New Life(ANL) staff, learning about what they do for kids and the community, playing with the Dream Kids, meeting our sponsored students, taking them to lunch, meeting with the staff at the Bugesera church and really building relationships with these people and the community that God has called Imprint to be apart of.
On one of those days, we were able to spend time at a secondary school showing them a microscope Chuck had brought with slides of malaria. He helped stress the importance of hand washing to stay healthy. As we were saying hi to the crowds of students that were greeting us, I made eye contact with a teacher who was still in her classroom. I excused myself from the endless student hugs, introduced myself to the teacher and asked her if she would show me around her classroom. This, this is where I wanted to be!!! I was at home in her classroom. There was a sense of familiarity as I looked at the handwritten posters explaining the life cycle of a bean plant and the structure of a sentence. God laid on my heart in that moment that I wanted to be able help these teachers in some way. I’m wasn’t thinking about returning to Rwanda but what could I do stateside to help. Fast forward a few months…
In November of 2016, I received an email from ANL to consider being a part of a team that would go back to Kigali in June of 2017, to help with a teacher conference put on by Africa New Life. There were a few things that made me say no to this trip, it’s a longer trip than last time and I want to be sensitive to my families needs, plus I was JUST there and is God really calling me back? I forwarded the email to my husband and he responded supportively saying that he was going to put the dates of this trip on his work calendar(can there be a sweeter answer? I think not!).
Now I find myself in the throws of getting ready to go back to a place I never thought I would see again. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God has called me and my family(even though they’re not coming with me) to this adventure. The emotional and financial support that I have received is beyond humbling and also another confirmation that I am walking where God wants me to be.
What I am leaning into now is seeking His face in this land of Rwanda and asking Him what He is calling my family and I to do. I’m asking Him to use me where He needs me while I am there. As God reveals Himself there, I want to be able to receive it. To the question “will I do ANYTHING that the Lord asks of me?”, may my answer be “YES”.
As my Imprint family, may I ask you to pray these things with me?
We as Imprint Church partner with a village in Bugesera, Rwanda through Africa New Life. We’ve helped raise money for a garden that helps feed and employ those living there. People like you within Imprint support children on a monthly basis to receive education and the Gospel message. You can read more about that here.
That’s when I decided I was going to be an engineer when I grow up to build mini-houses for Camp Unity2017-05-19 16:44:30
Earlier this year my small group and I had signed up to help Camp Unity move. Camp Unity moves every three months, which is always a lot of work. We got there and we were fresh and ready for work. I helped screw in the boards that go under the tents. Then it started raining and we got very wet. After the boards were done, I helped unload the U-Haul. On one of my trips back, I set down some tents and noticed people setting up the living room tent which was made of PVC pipes and tarps. My first thought was, “That would not keep you warm.” My second thought was “That doesn’t look stable and the water might seep in.” The rain had already been making the roof seep in.
Fast forward two days later. There was a snow day and school was closed. Yea! I woke up and got very excited, but then I thought how Camp Unity might be feeling, cold. Maybe some residents had broken tents, maybe other residents had tarps collapse. I was worried. That’s when I decided that I was going to be an engineer when I grow up so that I could design and build mini-houses on wheels for Camp Unity. I thought that if I could find a way to make it easier and faster to setup up portable housing, that it would greatly improve the quality of life for this community. What if we could do that on a larger scale?
I also have an eye on a specific hotel that I want to buy when I grow up so that I could transform it into a shelter and help the homeless cause from another perspective. I even spoke with my girl scout troop to adopt this cause to complete our
community project and earn our Bronze Award. I think I inspired them enough to take on the project and we are looking at several different ways to turn some of these ideas into reality today! We will also donate some of our girl scout money to help get the materials for the mini-houses on wheels.
Isabella B. is 11 years old and attends Imprint with her parents, Barclay and Edna. Their Generosity Group meets in Kirkland.
Did you know Imprint Church gives grants to Generosity Groups to serve in all kinds of ways? Your group can apply here!
Multiplying new churches has been a part of the DNA and vision of Imprint Church from Day 1. It was Darren and the board’s vision to not merely grow a bigger church, but to multiply. In other words, the aim has not been simply addition, but multiplication—to multiply churches for the sake of multiplying disciples, to fulfill our role in carrying out the Great Commission. In God’s mercy, he’s brought Imprint to the cusp of planting a new church(about 7 months away). I came to Imprint in April of 2015 with a loose goal to launch in a couple of years. But life took a sharp and unexpected turn after just two months with Imprint. For those unfamiliar with the backstory, you can read about it on Northshore’s blog here.
“In God’s mercy, he’s brought Imprint to the cusp of planting a new church(about 7 months away).”
Given this winding road we’ve traveled with Jesus to get to this point, I am thankful to be holding our first official Church Planting Vision and Prayer Meeting this Friday night. I will lay out the vision and mission of Imprint Church. I will also explain the Family of Churches model, something we are employing for greater effectiveness in church planting. We’ll talk through some essential aspects of what a healthy church is, which is what we aim to be (as numerical growth is not the only or best indicator of a church’s health). We’ll also look at a rough timeline of events leading up to the launch as well as have a time of Q & A, prayer, and dessert.
“We’ll also look at a rough timeline of events leading up to the launch as well as have a time of Q & A”
In particular, I’m eager to share the convictions I have regarding the centrality of Christ and his gospel through the unapologetic preaching of the Bible. My dream is that this new church (i.e., the people of God) would be used by God to bring those far from him into a saving and transforming knowledge of Jesus Christ though Holy Spirit-given boldness in verbally sharing the good news of Jesus. In a phrase: to make and multiply grateful and generous disciples through the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Church Planting Pastor
A huge shout out to the 120+ volunteers who helped make The Great Community Egg Hunt a total success this year!
On April 8th, 2017, Imprint Church and Branches Church came together to provide a spectacular Easter egg hunt for the Woodinville community. Aside from the largest egg hunt on the Eastside, there were inflatables, games, face painting, and more.
This year we hosted over 3,750 people in the Woodinville Sports Fields!
The Great Community Egg Hunt is a great way to make connections within our community and reach out to people who live just down the street from us. By keeping the event free and asking for food donations, we were able to give 800 lbs. of food to the Woodinville Store House, along with $100 in donations! This is incredible and will go a long way in serving the deeper needs of the community.
We asked some of our volunteers for highlights during the event. Here’s what you guys had to say:
“I loved seeing the joy of kids and parents faces when the face paint when done, and the thank you’s from most of the people.”
“I enjoyed greeting people and seeing the excitement of the children.
It was such a unique opportunity to get to know other volunteers that I don’t know very well.”
“It felt good just being out in the community serving.
Lots of kids, lots of fun, lots of smiles!”
Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who helped to bring this event together. From stuffing eggs to painting faces, and everything in between – you made this happen!
We’re in a series called, “Light in a Land of Darkness: A Study of Isaiah.” The book of Isaiah is so rich and full of symbolism; it’s part history, poetry, prophecy and more, all rolled into one book spanning generations! There’s no way we could possibly glean everything it has to offer from listening to sermons on a Sunday morning (no matter how well researched and eloquent Darren and Tom’s sermons are.)
The good news is, you don’t have to be a pastor or a theologian to dig into God’s word. We know that God’s word is profitable for teaching and training in righteousness so that we may be complete and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17.) While it may take discipline to sit with the weight of some of these texts, it is not out of reach for anyone willing to make an effort to study God’s word!
We’ve gathered wonderful resources for anyone looking to better understand Isaiah. There is something here for every level of interest!
For starters, The Bible Project has put out several great videos on the book of Isaiah. These videos explain the context, set up the literary structure, and summarize the main events. Take a few minutes to watch the first video right now:
For those willing to invest some time in additional study, we present:
Darren’s Top 4 Study Books On Isaiah
In this accessible commentary on the book of Isaiah, Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. argues that Isaiah imparts a single vision of God throughout all sixty-six chapters. It is a unified, woven whole that ultimately shows that God saves sinners2. The NIV Application Commentary On Isaiah by John Oswalt
A unique commentary that explores each passage from three vital perspectives: original meaning, bridging context, contemporary significance.3. Holman Bible Commentary by Trent Butler
One in a series of twenty Old Testament verse-by-verse commentary books edited by Max Anders. Includes discussion starters, teaching plan, and more.
4. The Book Of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom by Andrew Abernathy
In view of what the structure of the book of Isaiah aims to emphasize, this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume employs the concept of “kingdom” as an entry point for organizing the book’s major themes.
**Darren’s disclaimer: This is such a good book, but it can feel intimidating. Anything from the New Studies in Biblical Theology series is fantastic!
– Light Beckons, an article by John Piper
– The Holiness Of God, a sermon by R.C. Sproul
– The Branch And Banner Of David, John Piper speaking at the 2015 TGC National Conference
– Click here to find hundreds of other sermons, videos, and articles from The Gospel Coalition
By now hopefully, you’ve seen the new building that’s been going up on the north side of Imprint Church. If you haven’t heard, we’re calling it The Annex.
We are so excited about the potential of having more space to do ministry — specifically, ministry with our kids and students. Moreover, the potential of having extra space for other special events and to be able to train people for the work of the ministry is something we will be so grateful to have both now and into the future.
A few weeks ago, we had signups for people to get involved in the work, and about 30 of you signed up to help with various things like electrical, roofing, framing, and even clean up. Thank you so much for your willingness to jump in and help build the church.
Many people are probably wondering when the building will be completed. The good news is that a lot of the major work has been done (foundation, framing, and roofing), and now we are doing a lot of the work on the inside to make it ready for people. Currently the plan is to start moving some of our kids ministry to The Annex for Sunday morning ministry this summer, and then we will fully transition to our new classroom setups at the start of Fall 2017 when school is getting back in. Please note that all this is contingent on the progress of construction. Sara and Charissa, our Kids Leads, will communicate more about these details in the near future. Ben, our Student & Families Lead, will move the students out to The Annex as soon as we give him the green light!
The bottom line of why I am reaching out to you is that we still need your help! We found that the cost of building The Annex was a moving target from the time when we first got an estimate. Because of the upturn of the economy, and because builders have been busy with new construction all over the Seattle area, the cost of doing business turned out to be significantly more than we originally planned for. We did a giving campaign for this building in 2016, and through your generosity, we raised just over $80,000. The board made the decision to pitch in the rest of the money from our savings for this as we don’t want to go into debt and we really needed the extra space. However, we want to come back to you and ask if you would consider giving to this building project — especially if you have not given already. This is taking a significant amount from our savings.
For your information, we know a few things about the folks who originally gave to this:
- The original $80,000 was given by 51 families. Again, we are exceedingly grateful for your generosity.
- Half of the families that gave were families with kids at Imprint, and the other half are either empty nesters or do not have children. The range of giving was between $35-$5000. Please know that every bit helps!
- Imprint has over 125 families who regularly attend our Gatherings.
So the first thing I would ask is if you have children, would you seriously and prayerfully consider giving to this building campaign? If you do, you’re investing in the discipleship of the kids and students of Imprint Church, and the future of your own children. Secondly, if you do not have kids or have empty nested, take a look around Imprint on Sunday mornings. We have so many kids and youth. And we could really use the space to have age-specific discipleship for these kids. You can invest in their lives by your giving.
Please prayerfully consider giving. And if you’d like to, click here and choose “Building Campaign” from the pull-down menu, to designate your giving.
Thank you for allowing the gospel to change your lives — resulting in gratitude and generosity. If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at email@example.com.
There’s nothing that better exemplifies our gratitude for the Gospel than baptisms! We love baptisms and Easter is a perfect day to do them!
We had a handful of students who chose to get baptized on Easter Sunday and publicly profess their faith in Jesus. Here are a few of their words for why they got baptized:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10
“My parents chose this verse for me when I was little, and it’s always been a favorite of mine. I know that baptism is the next step for me, to be able to show others of the work God has already done in my life.”
– Bethany Larson
“Originally, I was raised in a Christian family and gained a decent understanding of the Bible, yet I was afraid of the very idea of baptism. I was constantly questioning my integrity and faith. I was terrified of being too broken or imperfect for God. But thanks to my parents and the Baptism classes, I realized that I don’t need to have it all together in order to proclaim my dedication to Jesus.”
– Jonathan Shi
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. – Romans 4:20
– Brody Bicksler