I don't know of any church that would admit to being unwelcoming to those new to the community. In fact, every church I have been a part of has prided themselves on being the "most welcoming church in town" and yet many of them were anything but welcoming. As a church planter this lack of self awareness among churches is frightening. Of course, I want our gathering (and all else for that matter) to be welcoming, but how am I to know what makes for a truly welcoming church? Why do so many churches think they are welcoming when everyone knows they aren't? Thom Rainer helps us think through these questions and more in his book Becoming a Welcoming Church.
Over a few blogs I am going to flesh out the vision for Ascent. I want to get as specific as possible so that you can have a right view of the church you are a part of or are considering being a part of. My prayer is that you would gain clarity. If you have any questions, please reach out to me and I will do my best to give an answer that helps.
This is the more complete update of all that happened in and through Ascent in January of 2019.
If you find vulgar language offensive, this book is not for you. I'll just start there for any of my Christian friends or congregants. I do not want you to turn the audio book on with your kids around and then never speak to me again.
I have many notebook pages full of abandoned plans for Ascent church. I have been wrestling with the call to plant a church for nearly three years now and during that time I've read at least ten books on the topic and spent countless hours listening to podcast. I've been blessed to be surrounded by some amazing pastors like Steven Earp, Brannan Duncan, Rusty Gunn, Jason Dirks, and many many more amazing men of God who have taken the time to invest in me. I have been assessed, approved, and given access to world class training by the North American Mission Board, The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and the Association of Related Churches. I even took a year to intern in a church plant before planting myself. I very well may be the most equipped planter in the history of church planters and here is my conclusion: I have no idea what I am doing.
I first found out about Atomic Habits from the “Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast”. Craig talked highly of this work by James Clear, so naturally I had high expectations before reading. The book did not let me down! In fact, this might be the best book I’ve read in the last year.
My favorite books are the ones where my entire perspective shifts on a subject so much that it actually changes the way I live. There are many books that provoke a new idea, but few actually spark new action in my daily life.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and pray over our January 2019 prayer request.
Giftology by John Ruhlin is one of the best business books I have ever read. I may end up gifting this book on the power of gift giving more than any other book I have ever gifted. That was kind of a tongue twister, but you get the point!
I recently read "High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard and one of the key habits in high performers according to Brendon is clarity. He asserts that the most successful in any field have incredible vision for where they want to go and how they want to get there.
Welcome to the “Church Plant Journey” blog series. My name is Blake Farley. This year my wife, Taylor, and I are planting Ascent church in Woodward, Oklahoma. We are excited, nervous, confident, humbled, and the list of emotions could go on for days!