Planting Vintage West
One of our great passions at Vintage is planting churches, and we’re incredibly excited to be launching our fourth Vintage church location, Vintage Church West, in January of 2020. We’ve had an eye west of 440 for a while now, specifically out towards Morrisville, Cary, Apex, and Holly Springs; many of our members and regular attenders already live there, and that whole region has been experiencing rapid population growth for years. We’re thrilled to be adding a church to that area and another Vintage church to the family.
As you can imagine, between now and then we have a lot of work to do. David Mobley, one of the elders from Vintage North, has been at Vintage Downtown for the past year going through training and preparing to become the pastor of West. Over the summer David has been meeting with folks, organizing his teams, and finding a spot to meet (FYI, they landed a sweet location at Laurel Park Elementary, pictured above).
This fall David will start meeting with his core team, the folks who are committing to going with him and helping launch Vintage West, and during that time they’ll organize into their founding community groups. That obviously has some implications for our existing community groups, almost exclusively affecting Vintage Downtown, so this article is meant to detail how to go about that transition this fall. This is all predicated on a guiding principle we use for community groups: one goal of CGs is to further the discipleship that starts on Sunday into the rest of the week by building supportive, discipleship-oriented relationships. Thus where you are in community is tied to where you are on Sundays. For this reason we highly recommend being in a CG that belongs to the church you attend regularly. While this creates some difficulty in the planting process, ultimately we think it builds up healthy churches.
All this being said, we don’t want to skirt past the difficulty that this transition will pose for many of us. Our overall hope is that CGs produce some of the most meaningful relationships in the lives of our people; of course no one wants to stop meeting regularly with their close friends. But planting Vintage West gives us an opportunity to utilize CG relationships for the building up of the kingdom in a new area. We hope the planting process will pose a healthy challenge for some of us, to go where God is calling us and to be faithful where he has placed us, even when it’s difficult.
West core team meetings start in September!
We also hope you’ll continue in (and have already started) an open dialogue with your community group about planting West, particularly for those groups whose members live west or southwest of 440. If that affects your group, heads up: you’ll need to have a plan in place looking ahead towards September, since that’s the start of the West core team meetings. That means you should start having these conversations soon, since the vast majority of people prefer a long runway to any sort of big change. And while every group will have to navigate these changes together on a case-by-case basis, generally speaking there are two primary scenarios to think through.
Making a plan: 2 scenarios
Scenario 1: Some folks in your group are going with Vintage West, but you as the leader are staying at Downtown with some or most of your group members.
In this case, those folks who are going with West will join up with the West core group in September and will subsequently join a Vintage West community group. So these people will leave your Downtown group for a West group. Of course this will be a bittersweet transition, but it affords your group the opportunity to stay engaged with what’s going on at West, pray for your group members who are leaving, and when the time comes for your last CG gathering together, to lay hands on them and send them out as missionaries. If these folks haven’t yet, they should contact David Mobley to let him now they’re interested in being a part of the core team (contact details at the end).
Your plan: Determine who all is headed to West and pray for them, preferably by planning a time to celebrate, lay hands on them, and send them out as missionaries prior to the start of core team meetings.
Scenario 2: You the leader(s) are joining West with or without some of your community group.
In this case you’re the one who will be sent out of your group, perhaps along with some or even most of your community group. In this case you’ll have to have some honest conversations with your group members about how to proceed. Some folks will feel torn about staying with your group vs. staying at Downtown. They need to be reassured that they should follow God wherever he’s leading them and not feel guilty about that. Some folks will be on the fence and might even need to try out the core team meetings before committing one way or the other. No matter what the case is, you as the leader should create a care plan for the members who are staying at Downtown. There are two options for that plan:
A. The remaining Downtown folks in your group will keep meeting under a new leader.
B. Your Downtown group will technically disband and the members will join an existing group or multiple groups.
So, if someone in your group is gifted for it and ready, this is a great opportunity for them to step up as the new leader of the group. If that person hasn’t been through the CG leader training process, send their name to Eric and we can get them in the next training cohort (currently planned for September). If no one is both gifted and ready then touch base with Eric to make a plan to help your remaining Downtown folks connect to a new group. For clarity, they would meet with your current group up until September, then they would enter the connections process right as you start meeting with the West core group. The goal here is that not a single person would fall through the cracks in the transition between Downtown and West, so we’ll need your help with that.
Your plan: Determine who in your group is staying at Downtown and either a. help a new leader take over that group by September or b. talk to Eric about helping your people connect to other groups Downtown. When the time comes to part ways, plan a night to gather, celebrate the life of your group, and pray for one another.
If you have any questions at all about making your plan, please reach out to Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org or David at email@example.com. If you are interested in joining Vintage West and haven’t yet done so, please reach out to David to let him know.
You’ll continue to see fellowship and informational opportunities for Vintage West popping up at Vintage Downtown throughout the fall. As you see those, remember to be in prayer for our newest addition to the family, that God will move mightily west of Raleigh as we continue to serve faithfully at Downtown, North, and Durham.