I am sure that most of you share my sentiments in hearing the recent news that Ryan and Callie’s time at Calvary will soon come to an end. If you are like me, you are very sad to hear that they will be leaving, but very excited that they will be part of a kingdom focused mission by starting a new church.
Recently, when Ryan made his announcement, I informed the church that we want this to be more of “a sending” than a leaving. This is a very New Testament concept. As we read the book of Acts, we see that this is exactly what the church at Antioch did with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 1:1-3). Under the Holy Spirit’s direction, the church prayed over these two leaders and then sent them off to fulfill their missional calling, no doubt providing them with ongoing support.
So, what might this look like for Calvary sending off Ryan and Callie? First, it will involve some of our church family helping to resource them by joining their support team. The way most church planters survive is by raising support for the first several years of the ministry until the church grows to a point where she can financially support her staff. Therefore, if God leads you to assist Ryan and Callie in their fund raising efforts, we give you our blessing.
Second, with today’s church planting models, there are often opportunities to send short-term mission teams to assist with outreach and other ministry projects. In fact, during Ryan’s tenure, the Calvary Student Ministry has participated in several mission trips doing this very thing for churches in Philadelphia, Colorado Springs, and Baltimore. I think it would be very special if we could one day send the Calvary students and others to minister to and with Ryan and Callie’s new church.
Third, and most importantly, a sending church always prays. We as Christ followers should know that without prayer there is no spiritual power. With prayer, everything is possible. Church planters find themselves on the front lines of spiritual warfare. They are often overwhelmed by the enormous challenges they face. To see a biblical picture of this, I encourage you to read about Paul and Barnabas church planting ministries in Acts chapters 13-20. In these scriptures, you will see how prayer played an invaluable role in the success of their mission.
Ryan and Callie, we love you and support you as you make plans to transition to your new calling. We pledge to be your partner in ministry as your sending church and we look forward to seeing the kingdom impact that we can make together.