In 2009, shortly after I moved here to Cincinnati, I mapped out a strategy for advancing our mission in this community. Although God has called us to plant a church in the inner city of Cincinnati, we have known from the beginning that our scope was much larger.
So early on I developed a strategy that we call “replication.” Replication is based on the command of Jesus to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28). As our outreach into the city grows, we will expand our church’s ability to accommodate that growth. Replication, according to our strategy, will occur in four areas: (1) replicating disciples through evangelism, (2) replicating small groups, (3) replicating new church plants, and (4) replicating church campuses.
The fourth one, replicating campuses, is what we’re doing next. Let me tell you how this came about. A year ago, another young church planter named Ben Eidson contacted me for some coaching and friendship. He had been planting a church in in Northern Kentucky (about 15 minutes away). He knew me from seminary a couple of years before. But he was here, all alone with his wife and children, trying to start a new church. We hit it off right away, and we became great friends.
Over the course of the next year, I coached him through key church decisions and the development of his ministry strategy. The more we worked together, the more we realized our common theology, ministry goals, and heart for this region. So about two months ago, after considerable prayer and seeking the Lord, I approached Ben about uniting our churches. He loved the idea.
So the plan came together to become “one church meeting in two locations.” I will be the Lead Pastor of the whole church, and Ben will serve as a campus pastor and preacher for the NKY gathering. The whole church will be governed by the two elders from Ctk Uptown (Doug Shell and myself), and Ben Eidson from Ctk Northern Kentucky.
We will train all of his leaders in children’s ministry, men’s and women’s ministry, worship, and so forth. We hope some of our people from Ctk Uptown will choose to join this new campus and strengthen it. The result is that Christ the King Church will now have two ministry “footprints” in our region. Our mission is replicating again!
In an age when so many church splits and arguments discourage Christians, we want to be part of the growing trend of churches uniting in a spirit of cooperation.Since we have made this decision, our two congregations are getting to know each other and we are pleased by how enthusiastic and encouraging everyone has been. Our plan is to continue working out our strategy and officially “launch” this second campus around Easter, 2012.