We were thrilled to welcome Fr. Ben and his family to All Saints back in June. As you know, Fr. Ben has come on board as our Curate for Church Planting. But what does this mean exactly? What will this “curacy” look like? What are Fr. Ben’s duties here at All Saints?
Most people wrongly assume that to plant a church, you first find a space to meet, then advertise your upcoming services, and then see who shows up—a kind of “if you build it, they will come” approach. But that’s not what we are doing at all.
Church life is relational life, and relationships take time to develop, especially new ones. That’s why Fr. Ben’s primary focus for this initial season is building relationships, both with the people of All Saints, but also with those in this community in need of a church home.
Right now, Fr. Ben will give approximately half of his time to the needs of All Saints, assisting with pastoral care, preaching, and other ministry duties. The other half of his time will be beyond All Saints, cultivating relationships and developing leaders needed for a vibrant future church. We pray for a church to be planted from the relational fruit that will be developed, not by merely what we hope will happen.
Praise the Lord that we as a church are able to give Fr. Ben and his future team the time and support they need to lay the ground work for a possible plant, a plant that will not be driven by timelines, but by relational benchmarks. God willing, as these benchmarks are met, and as more momentum develops, Fr. Ben will spend even more time beyond our own parish.
The important thing for you to keep in mind is this: we are all called to be a part of the work of church planting, because planting churches is the result of making disciples, helping others follow Jesus in their everyday lives. All of us need to be praying about how God might use us to reach out to our friends and neighbors, and draw them into the life of the church.