In case you haven’t heard, we’re moving our family to New York City to start a church. It’s sort of a big deal, and it’s tempting, in the midst of all the details, to start believing that we can somehow achieve this monumental task in our own strength and skill. It’s also fairly easy to crunch numbers and look at our unfinished house and listen to our big dreams and become convinced that we’re crazy to go after this at all.
So today’s post is dedicated to all the miraculous moves of God that weren’t orchestrated by us in any way but are all for our good and encourage us in our calling.
* Uh, remember that God called us to this thing in the first place?
* Despite learning that less than 3% of NYC believes in Jesus, we have discovered that God has been raising up a host of laborers who are recently (in the last 3-10 years) planting churches. God is moving in the city!
* Our team felt a unified call to Greenpoint, Brooklyn before knowing anything about the neighborhood. There are currently NO church plants happening in Greenpoint, yet the thirty-something population (our people!) has doubled in the last 10 years. Also, 2 of the elementary schools in our neighborhood have the highest rating possible for public schools and are considered some of the top schools in all of NYC.
* Michael and Mike were humbled to meet with Mark Reynolds, the “Godfather of NYC church-planting”, and have him encourage our vision! Another church planter told us that in his group of 5 planters, Mark had not approved 3 of them to move forward. His opinion is highly respected in the NYC church planting community and his support affirms what God is doing in us.
* We had prayed that our ministry partner, Mike, would get a full-time job with UPS. After one phone interview, Mike was invited to interview in-person and was offered a job in West Manhattan a week later! Not only is this a perfect location (for commuting purposes), but Mike learned that his Director is also a Christian. Unbelievable!
* Our team is growing! A dear family and some single friends are currently praying about joining us in NYC - and Rachel, a staff member at our parent church has already been called to come with us! WOW. The fact that others are inspired by our vision and are asking the Holy Spirit if he would have them move across the country to join his mission is yet another confirmation that God is arranging all the parts for his glory.
* At this time last year, we knew of no churches in NYC that were using our chosen model. Since then, we have connected with TWO other missional churches, both in Brooklyn!
* Not only this, but one of the foremost leaders of the missional community movement and the president of GCM (a network of missional churches) is moving to Manhattan this week! He is working with the CMA and Nyack College & Seminary to develop curriculum, training, and collectives to raise up missional church planters in NYC. He has expressed his excitement to us about our presence in the city and begun discussing ways to partner together.
* We have met with over 100 people to share the God-sized vision that he has given us. Over 80 of those pray regularly for us and 18 have generously committed to financially support us for the next 3 years. We have 25% of our needed financial goal!
Are you excited about what God is doing in New York City and in us?
Contact me if you're interested in hearing the fuller version of our story or helping us prepare to leave by the end of August.
Financial donations are tax-deductible and can be set up (one-time or monthly) here (choose Michael & Nicole Devereaux - NYC Fund).