This January, Keri and I are moving to Seattle to help plant a church. This is going to be a big year for us because we are also expecting our first child this October, Jack Tyler Higgins. One might think that this is an inconvenient time for us to move, especially so far from all the familiarities we have in the Midwest like family, jobs and a church family we love. So why move across the country and forsake all of this?
Because the glory of God and the souls of the lost compel us.
As we look at what really matters in this life it is easy to boil it down to these two things: the glory of God and the mission of God. So then how do these two great truths run together compelling Christ followers to forsake ease and comfort to launch into unfamiliar places?
The answer is the Gospel.
Let me take a moment to explain what I mean. We believe we can forsake comfort and join into the mission of God because God has made his story our story. In the history of redemption, despite man’s sinfulness, God sent Jesus the Christ to save sinners through his life, death and resurrection. After this, God sent the Spirit as a unique gift to believers to guide them in carrying the gospel into the whole world. When God reached us with the Gospel, he performed a Copernican Revolution. In our sin, we wrongly assumed ourselves the center of the universe. When Christ broke in and opened our eyes to behold his goodness, there was a glorious flip that occurred. Suddenly, we saw that God was at the center and we were free to live as servants of the King. Even more than that, we were made sons and heirs of the Kingdom. As sons, Christ has given us the mission to proclaim his goodness near and far.
Thus, long before church planting became our mission or Emmaus’ mission, it was the mission of God — the salvation of sinners to demonstrate his glory. In the gospel, God joined us to his story of redemption and uses us to magnify his name. By church planting, we are convinced that we are not actually doing something new or hip, but instead we are doing something old. We will obey Jesus’ words to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” with the sweet affirmation that Jesus is really with us, even to the end (Matt 28). Utilizing the means God has given us, we understand that one of the ways to do this is through church planting—that is, to start a church where there is no church & to live out the biblical vision of a church.
Ultimately, our vision is to see a New Testament church rooted in downtown Seattle filled with lives transformed by the power of the Gospel. In following the redemptive narrative as laid out in scripture, one can see the New Covenant church grow from the fertile soil of God’s work in the Gospel. So it is that the Gospel is what ultimately drives the mission of God which leads to the glory of God.
God has not called all of his children to church planting, but he has called them all to his mission. As Keri and I consider our own callings and distinctive equipping, we feel we can best steward these gifts through the avenue of church planting. Through much prayer and conversations with fellow saints, it has been confirmed that God has called us to steward these gifts in Seattle. Seattle is a city in great need of the gospel! With a downtown population of 700,000 (4.5 million metro area population), it is imperative that the first Southern Baptist church is planted in the core of the city.
How Can You Get Involved?
Partner Through Prayer
We have a deep held conviction that God uses the prayers of his people to advance his kingdom. Prayer by its very nature postures our dependence on God and acknowledges that without his help we will fail miserably at any attempt to faithfully carry out his mission. Thus, we ask that you pray for us as we look to pick up the lives we have established here in Kansas City to move away from friends and family into an unknown city. Especially in light of the fact that we are expecting our first child this October, pray that God would help us to love him more than our own comforts, and that he would provide a family and community through the church. Next, pray that God would continue to enflame our affections towards the people of Seattle. God is at work in Seattle, and the harvest is plentiful. Pray that God would give us opportunity to share the gospel with those who have never heard it. Next, pray that God would actually save sinners through our ministry. The gospels are full of imagery related to salvation: the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead rise. Pray that God would work his unique miracle of giving a heart of flesh to those who have a heart of stone. Lastly, pray that Keri and I receive provision. We already have and will continue to seek out partners to join us in prayer and in financial support, and in light of this we ask you pray that God would generously bring people to us who want to help.
We have come to understand that God works through the normal means of relationships to help his people. We only have a few contacts in Seattle at this point, but if you know of anyone or even any ministry that could benefit us as we look to plant a church in downtown Seattle, we would love to meet them. Maybe you know people in other churches who would be interested in joining us in this endeavor—please find a way to get us in touch with them, as we would love to meet them.
Finally, we have great hope that you would support us financially. God has called us, but accompanying this calling is a need to be sent. God calls all people to his mission of advancing the Gospel and some, by virtue of their training and calling, move to those in need and others, by virtue of their circumstances and gifts, send them. This idea of financially supporting others to advance the gospel is deeply biblical. This is highlighted in the book of Philippians when Paul speaks about his partnership in the Gospel with the Philippian church. William Carey, the father of modern missions, famously said to a missions board: “I will go down, if you will hold the rope.” Thus, we are seeking you out to ask if you are willing to help support us financially through monthly giving for at least three years. If you would like to support us financially Please visit the link below.
If you have any further questions related to the church plant or our plans, please reach out to me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (816) 260-9104.
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Glen Higgins is a graduate of Midwestern Seminary with his Masters of Divinity. He has served for the last three years as a pastoral resident at Emmaus Church. Glen and his wife Keri have been married for four years and are expecting their first child this October. Follow him on Twitter at @HigginsGlen.