"We are committed to develop and train leaders to plant Gospel-centered churches in Chicagoland, and North America. Our goal is to plant healthy, reproducing, multiplying Gospel-centered churches in our generation by planting churches that plant other churches."
We are continuing our look at Christ Church, which is a member of the Acts 29 Network as well as The Gospel Coalition.
According to the Acts 29 website, there are six affiliated churches in the state of Indiana, and half of those fall under the Christ Church umbrella. However, as we understand it, the Valparaiso church plant no longer exists and is not included on the Christ Church website. Perhaps the A29 web administrator needs to update the directory to reflect this…
As we have been investigating what happened at Countryside Christian Church (now Christ Church), we wondered about the facility that was vacated (abandoned). The current real estate listing includes the following property description:
The subject property was built in 1981 and added onto in 1987 and 2001. It is a 52,865 +/- SF structure situated on a 19.7+/- acre plot that has been used in the past as a religious and school facility. Located in the South suburbs of Michigan City and North of La Porte City.
Here are the features of this property, which is listed at $1.1 million.
Over 30 classrooms & numerous executive offices
Auditorium seats several hundred – possible to partition
Full size basketball/athletic gymnasium & commercial grade kitchen
Single elevator system
500+ Parking spots on-site
Covered drive-thru traffic area
It must be heartbreaking for those who were faithful members/attenders of Countryside to see the facility just sitting there vacant. Please be sure to check out the photos (at the link above) of the almost 53,000 square foot facility.
You are likely wondering where the Christ Church congregation currently meets. After they abandoned the large facility that is now on the market, they began meeting in a movie theater. This went on for several months until the congregation found its new location at 531 Washington Street, Michigan City, Indiana. It's located at the corner of 6th and Washington Street. If you search on this Google map, you should be able to see a church located near the street corner. We believe it may have been a Lutheran church at one time.
Remember, churches belonging to the Acts 29 network are required to plant churches. The current church plant is called Christ Church LaPorte, located at 802 Indiana Avenue (corner of Indiana and Jefferson). No doubt Christ Church is considered to be a success by the Acts 29 leadership.
Now that you have an understanding of Christ Church's meeting places, let's take a look at the church leadership. According to the website:
Jesus Christ is the "head of the body, the church" as taught in Colossians 1:18. Because of this, we consider Jesus as the leader, the "Senior Pastor," or the Head of Christ Church. The men who lead the church must lead like Jesus—not to replace him, but to follow him and serve his Church according to their need, as described in the Bible. Though our leaders are imperfect and incomplete, by God’s grace they can still reflect the One who teaches, loves, and leads the way to God for His glory and our joy.
The Christ Church elders are as follows: (link)
Kevin is the Lead Pastor of Christ Church. He is the primary teaching/preaching pastor and is the lead visionary for the Christ Church ministry. Kevin designed and leads the Christ Church Leadership Development School and coaches many of the Christ Church leaders.
Kevin is a pastor with the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and is the network director of the Acts 29 Central Midwest Region. He is a pastor/coach to numerous pastors around the country…
Chuck leads one of the Michigan City Missional Communities and is responsible for coaching and training other Christ Church deacons and Missional Community leaders. He is a graduate of the Christ Church Leadership Development School where he currently leads a cohort of emerging leaders… (Dee-Good night!)
Did you catch that? Kevin's fellow elder graduated from the Christ Church Leadership Development School. Not only that, Chuck leads a "cohort of emerging leaders". Now that's what Dee and I would call them…
Here is a description of the Leadership Development School as stated on the Christ Church website:
The Leadership Development School (LDS) exists to train men to effectively lead in their homes and in the local church in the centrality of the gospel. For the first time, this year’s LDS is open to women as well. This training is an intensive class consisting of 2 semesters that will focus on the areas of leadership, counseling, pastoral care, marriage and family, worship and mission.
While there is no cost for the class, each student is responsible to purchase applicable books/resources for each semester.
And here are the recommended books that those attending LDS likely read. As an aside, I (Deb) used to attend Sunday School with the author whose book is featured twice on this list. It must be doubly important!
In addition to its leadership development school, Christ Church also has a Church Planting Residency Program. Here are the details:
Through a one-year residency at Christ Church in Michigan City, IN, participants will receive a realistic experience of life and ministry in a church planting church while preparing to plant a church in North America. Residents receive assessment, training and ongoing coaching through Christ Church and associated networks (Acts 29) while recruiting, fundraising, and developing strategy for the future plant.
We are committed to develop and train leaders to plant Gospel-centered churches in Chicagoland, and North America.
Our goal is to plant healthy, reproducing, multiplying Gospel-centered churches in our generation by planting churches that plant other churches.
The residency is twelve months in length. An application and assessment are required to be considered.
Participants in the program must raise funds for the cost of their living expenses, insurance, etc.
Among the core compentencies is this one:
Learn the vision, values, and philosophy of ministry (DNA) of Christ Church.
Internships are also available.
With all the training that is going on in the leadership development school, residency program, and internship program, one has to wonder how Kevin Galloway has time to pastor the Christ Church congregation.
Church planting churches… the more I learn about how the Acts 29 machine operates, the more I am developing a disdain for this phrase. And to think that some in the Southern Baptist Convention actually believed with all their hearts that Mark Driscoll and his Acts 29 Network held the secrets to successful church planting for the SBC and that A29 and 'Big Papa D' have been getting a bad rap…
Dee will be chiming in with more on this topic in our upcoming post. Stay tuned…
Lydia's Corner: Isaiah 25:1-28:13 Galatians 3:10-22 Psalm 61:1-8 Proverbs 23:17-18