I felt like having a team moved our church an entire year forward in the process.”
The SBC of Virginia church planting process promotes the value of team planting. During summer 2018, Josh Miller (former pastor of Ministry Training, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina) moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to plant Center Church. Along with Josh came 39 adults (plus 12 kids), who sold houses, relocated and found jobs to invest their life in planting a church in Charlottesville. Once the team arrived, the ministry began with the “10:2 Initiative” — a three-part strategy based on Luke 10:2, which was designed to help every team member take a step forward as a personal disciple-maker. The strategy included daily prayer, practical disciple-making training, and the challenge to set up at least one “Gospel appointment” by the end of the fall. The vision is clear, says Josh, “We want to be a Gospel-centered, disciple-making church that engages with people who are far from God.”
How important was it that 39 people agreed to relocate to Charlottesville? According to Josh, “I felt like having a team moved our church an entire year forward in the process.”
On January 20, eight months after Josh and the team moved to Charlottesville, Center Church hosted its grand opening service in the community. The attendance that day was encouraging, but it was even more uplifting to learn that four people professed faith in Christ through the ministry of Center Church and were baptized a few months later.
Several weeks ago, Josh unveiled what God had been impressing on them for the future: “Over the next 15 years, we’re seeking to plant a Gospel-centered, disciple-making church in five of the most influential university towns in Virginia. College students in the Commonwealth are the leaders of tomorrow. They’re motivated to make a difference in the world and are highly mobile upon graduation.
Center Church is excited to come alongside the SBCV and other churches in Virginia. One practical way churches can participate is by encouraging future University of Virginia (UVA) students to attend a “College For A Weekend” event hosted by Center Church from July 28-28. College For A Weekend is an opportunity for high school seniors to get to know Charlottesville and learn how they can flourish in their faith at UVA. To learn more about College For A Weekend, including dates, email Center Church College Director Justin Leitch at justin@CenterCville.com. ■
You can keep up with the teaching ministry of Center Church by visiting: CenterCville.com/messages
Or you can make a financial investment in their church by visiting: CenterCville.com/give
The SBC of Virginia is grateful to partner with Center Church in planting churches.
Here’s how you can pray for the church:
- That our leaders would disciple others well (1 Thess. 5:14)
- That our love for each other would be a testament to our city (John 13:34-35)
- That God would lead us to those who are spiritually interested (Luke 10:2)
- That God would empower our 1 percent vision (Eph. 3:20)