We’ve seen God move the mountains and he also moves his people. The move is not always the easiest but knowing God has a plan already laid out helps with those nerves, especially when it’s to a place that runs away from God and not toward him.
Josh McCarty started River City church in Grand Junction, Colorado with his wife and 4 kids almost 3 years ago. McCarty used to be the Campus Minister at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas before he was called to plant a church in the Western slope. Colorado is in need of gospel-centered churches that are on mission and the McCarty family thought that would put them in Denver.
At first, McCarty and his family freaked out when they began to realize Denver wasn’t where they were supposed to be. After visiting Grand Junction, they felt that it was the right spot even though they knew more people in the Denver area. McCarty knew this meant it was going to be more important to make those relational connections.
Church Planting Model
“Missional Communities” is a model McCarty uses with church planting. This model starts with a small group of people that are Christ followers and some that might not believe. These communities can be within your neighborhood, around a hobby that you are involved in, or based anywhere in the community. McCarty also talks about the challenges that came with that.
Some challenges McCarty touches on is financial stability, discipleship stability, and how some anxiety came out of that. Another challenge was within the community, McCarty saw more people wanting to work with the youth. McCarty had to second guess himself because that was not the vision he had in mind, at first.
It is common for churches to meet on Sundays but McCarty had a different idea in mind for missional communities. McCarty talked about how he wanted these communities to be more strongly connected but also to have a group gathering once or twice a month. Now, River City church is in a transition on the last Sunday of the month, they go out as a church and serve in their community.
God works inside of us if we are intentional. There was a couple involved with River City church that has a missional community an hour away from Grand Junction. McCarty has been praying for opportunities like this, even though it was hard to let that friendship move away farther. If you want to be a multiplying church, you have to be able to send your best in a rejoicing way.
Advice from Josh McCarty
Some advice McCarty gave for someone wanting to plant a church is that your identity is not found in planting a church, your identity as a child of God is where you start, where you continue and where you end. It can be easy to get wrapped up with the things you do or the things that don’t work out. It’s also important to spend time with God, not for your next sermon, but in a way that is more devotional. The last piece of advice given is that your goal is not to plant a church, your goal is glorifying God by making disciples.