Trinity Church invites you to join us for our first Fall Festival at Shryock's Farm & Corn Maze!
Join us starting at 5:00pm on October 20th for the state’s largest corn maze, the Fun Barn for kids, hay rides, and a bonfire reserved from 7-9pm. (Shryock’s Farm is located at 2927 County Rd 253, Columbia, MO 65202.)
Admission is $7 per person; please let us know if you would like to have Trinity cover your cost of admission.
Rain or shine! (And yes, it’s MU Homecoming weekend, so the farm will be less crowded!)
A big, heartfelt Thank You to everyone who worshipped with us, prayed for us, encouraged us, and supported us financially this past weekend! We had a beautiful and powerful public launch gathering.
We had 121 people gather with us for this big Sunday! (80 in our worship gathering and 41 in Trinity Kids—yes, that's a lot of children!)
There was a real Spirit of joy and celebration among us, and we know that this is just the beginning. We were blessed to minister to many non-church-attending neighbors, coworkers, and friends, and also welcomed many friends and family members who have supported us along the way. We are not done church planting, but this is a big step towards becoming a healthy, self-sustaining local congregation (that plants other churches). The best is yet to come.
What a Sunday! Enjoy the pictures!
Jeremy & Co.
Jordan Peterson set off a trend with his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
Everyone is doing their own “12 rules for life” now. Malcolm Gladwell just devoted an entire podcast to it. The only problem: He only has one rule for life. (It’s worth a listen.)
We may not have twelve rules for life (yet), but we do have ten commitments. Consider this our 10 Rules for Church Planting: An Antidote to Hurry.
In a series of leadership meetings over the winter (2017-18), we have sought to envision and define a healthy church culture. We asked the question, “What type of church culture will give us the best chance of continuous fruitfulness generation after generation?”
The following ten commitments reflect the culture we envision and describe the commitments required to sustain our vision (a Grace centered church that Loves one another and promotes the Renewal of the community). The commitments also provide a “code of conduct” for our leaders and members to embody.
1. We Are Family.
We are relational beings, made in the image of the triune God. Relationship is our deepest longing and greatest need.
We put others first. We begin and end with grace. We don’t gossip, and we don’t have to have the last word.
2. We Are Not in a Hurry.
Soul work is slow work. We move slow and play the long game.
Church planting is normally fueled by hurry, caffeine, and adrenaline. Hurry is, by definition, an unsustainable pace. We reject the mantra of “faster, bigger, better.”
3. We Honor God by Enjoying Our Lives.
Life in Christ is the ultimate gift. We live in a state of joy and gratitude because of God’s grace.
The pressure is off. We have nothing to prove and no one to impress. We can even have fun!
4. We Promote Our City’s Renewal.
We love Columbia and its surrounding towns. We don’t live for ourselves but for the good of our neighbors.
We reach people, build them up, and release them back into the world to make a difference. We’re not building a dynasty. We are a leadership greenhouse: We cultivate leaders.
5. We Make Room for Outsiders.
We don’t exist just for who’s here but also for who’s not here. We remember what it feels like to be an outsider. All decisions consider the empty chair.
We believe beauty is unity in diversity; we fight for diversity and celebrate it.
6. We Lead as a Team.
We can go faster alone, but we will go further together. We are quick to praise and slow to criticize. We keep our faces soft.
We don’t use people to grow our ministries; we use our ministries to grow people. We reject celebrity-culture, platform-building church consumerism.
7. We Expect Constant Resistance.
We are in a spiritual war. The battle must be fought anew every day. We don’t complain or get bitter.
We receive life’s challenges with gratitude and grit. We let pain and suffering soften us, rather than harden us.
8. We Trust the Process.
God works through process; he takes his people the long way around.
We carry life’s complexities with empathy. We receive what’s given.
9. We Give It All Away.
We are recipients and stewards of all we are given. Our posture is abundance, not scarcity.
If our leaders go on to do great things, and we won’t get the credit, we will have succeeded.
10. We Celebrate Every Season.
We celebrate the valleys, the peaks, the plains, and the wilderness.
We rest well because we’re not in charge. We enjoy regular Sabbaths, retreats, and sabbaticals.
There are our church planting commitments—our antidote to hurry.
I’m excited to share that beginning January 21st, we will begin meeting Sundays at 10am at Columbia Independent School.
New Time, New Place
This is a change for us in two ways: First, we are moving from evening gatherings to morning gatherings. Second, we are from our home and the event center to gathering every week at Columbia Independent School (CIS).
This Sunday, January 21, we will hold a Preview Gathering—a full worship service where we as a new church family can get a glimpse of the future.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we are launching full worship gatherings every week. We will continue to hold Preview Gatherings once per month, and on the other Sundays, we’ll gather at the same time and place for fellowship, Bible study, and prayer. TrinityKids ministry will be available every Sunday.
Our New Home
There are a few reasons why we are excited about CIS. First, the location (1801 North Stadium Boulevard) is more centrally located, so that it’s more convenient for our folks coming from downtown or the University campus. It’s also accessible to North Columbia, which we are excited about, and more convenient for our families that live outside the city.
Second, the space is ideal. We will be meeting in the Performing Arts Room, which is set up with a stage, sound system, and up to 200 chairs. This means we’ll have minimal setup and teardown, and we’ll have a space that can feel small but also accommodate growth in the coming years.
Lastly, the administration and staff of CIS is not just allowing us to use their space, but have actively made it easy for us to make the building our Sunday home. We are exceedingly thankful to CIS’s leaders for making their space available and hospitable to us.
A New Season
It has been a wonderful six months gathering in our home. We will never forget this season. It has been one of the joys of our lifetimes to gather with ten, fifteen, or twenty-five people each Sunday night in our living room.
We have seen people who had no church home find a place to belong. We have seen strangers become friends. We have seen a group of individuals with little else in common besides Christ become a true spiritual family.
All of that will continue at Columbia Independent! We hope to always feel like a living room church, even when we don’t fit in a living room any more. Our mission is to cultivate Christ centered community. And our move to Sunday mornings at CIS will enable us to be more fruitful together in fulfilling that mission.
We hope to see you this Sunday!
Season’s Greetings, Friends!
It’s been about six weeks since our last update, and a lot has happened! In fact, we are seeking 31 people to pray for us one day each in December—more on that at the end.
We held our first public preview gatherings on October 15th and November 12th. Both services were an absolute joy: We had a wonderful time of worship, prayer, and fellowship, truly sensing the Spirit’s power as we gathered. Each gathering served about 35 adults and 15 kids, with first-time visitors at each. Praise the Lord! Throughout the past two months, we’ve been reading and discussing revival narratives in the Old Testament and praying that God would do a new work among us for his glory in this place.
December: Making Room
So, what’s next for us at Trinity? As you know, this Sunday starts the Advent season—a time of prayerfully making room for Christ in our hearts, preparing for the celebration of Christmas. At Trinity, it is also a time of making room for more people to experience Christ among and through us. Our final preview gathering of 2017 will be on Sunday evening, December 10th. Will you pray that we would continue to experience joy and power in worship and minister to new guests and families?
Speaking of prayer requests, we have several big ones. We have experienced enough growth to need to move into a larger meeting space in January… but we don’t yet have a lease secured. We have a few options, but nothing yet has fit our vision and budget. Please pray for a space! Similarly, we have healthy internal giving coming in now, and our external funding has been strong all year. But we need a significant funding boost in the next two months to be able to afford a rental space and prepare to launch.
So, I really sound like a church planter. (Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…) We need people, money, and meeting space!
We have felt the strong joy and presence of God through every step of this journey, and this is most likely the most significant set of challenges or barriers we have faced to date. Where will we meet next month? How will we make budget? How can we make room to faithfully reach people?
Surely the Lord will provide. Through our prayer and submission to him, we will be changed in the process. And he will receive all praise and glory. This is how he works! So we are asking you to join us in this season of prayer and longing.
Commit to a Day of Prayer?
In light of our need and the opportunity for God’s glory before us, we would like to secure at least one person praying for us each day of December. We’re seeking 31 one-day prayer warriors!
If you would enjoy committing to a day of prayer for Trinity (I mean, you can still go to work and pray a few times as you are able), will you reply by email to me at email@example.com? Give us a day or two that you can be praying for us, and we’ll put you down for a specific date.
Pray that the Lord would give grace, strength, and wisdom to our leaders. Pray that he would provide for our every need—space, people, funding. Pray that we would all be changed along the way.
Much love and grace,
Jeremy, Jessie, and the Team
There are as many reasons to love Columbia, Missouri as there are people here—so, roughly 130,000. Here are just a few of our favorites:
42% of Columbia residents are Millennials (age 18-34) compared to a 27% national average. This percentage includes almost 40,000 students at the University of Missouri, Columbia College, and Stephens College.
A demographic research study by the Percept Group described Columbia as “Very High” in lifestyle diversity and racial and ethnic diversity. With families from more than 100 ethnic backgrounds and with more than 2500 international students at the University of Missouri alone, we love living in a place with people from so many backgrounds. It gives us a good picture of what the new heavens and earth will look like!
Columbia is highly educated (7th most educated city in the U.S.; 51% of adults have college and/or graduate degrees compared to 29% U.S. average), but not snooty. The city has a great combination of thinkers and doers, of scholars and starters. As a result, a church that has influence here likely has influence far beyond here.
Outside Magazine named Columbia among the “best progressive towns in America” some years ago. Our community is willing to ask tough questions, challenge the status quo, and seek alternative ways forward. This is a place where ideas thrive, where you can be Democrat or Republican, or like most of us, something else entirely.
What happens when you have a young, diverse, smart, and progressive community? Creative things happen. Columbia is home to an ever-increasing number of art galleries, concert venues, new restaurants, non-profits, and startups. What other city our size can boast in things like the True/False Film Festival, Startup Weekend, Ragtag Theatre, and such good coffee?
Mid-Missouri is home to some of the most beautiful city, state, and national parks we’ve ever seen. The MKT Trail, leading out to the gorgeous Katy Trail, is one of the highlights of the Midwest. As a result, individuals and families seem to be outdoors every evening and weekend. In particular, my family loves the youth sports community, the cycling opportunities, and the ARC. Bike lanes everywhere!
Not surprisingly, our city is expected to grow 38% faster than the rest of the U.S. over the next five years—making it the fastest-growing city in Missouri and one of the fastest across the Midwest.
Even though there are many great churches in Columbia, the city’s church-going population remains lower than national averages. According to our research with the Percept Group, only 10-12% of the adult population holds any evangelical affiliation. Further, the population rate is growing much more quickly than church attendance is growing, meaning the percentage of church-going people in the city is constantly dropping. This presents a unique opportunity for new churches to be planted, especially in neighborhoods less reached by existing congregations.
Most importantly, Columbia feels like home to us and almost everyone who spends a few months here. Jessie and I lived there eight years total and felt it was the perfect place for us to put down roots, plant our family, and serve in the marketplace.