Seagears and Andy Casper
is multiplying churches
Three years after
Pastor Rob Seagears planted Christ Chapel Mountaintop (AG) in Gainesville, Va.,
the church is starting a church plant, South County Mountaintop, under the MX9
national initiative. Andy Casper, church planting associate at Christ Chapel
Mountaintop, will pastor South County Mountaintop, which is set to have its
grand opening Easter Sunday in Lorton, Va. Recently, Seagears and Casper spoke
with Assistant Editor Jennifer McClure about their church planting efforts and
the role MX9 is playing.
challenges have you faced so far?
CASPER: We have to
keep pressing through the reality this is the kingdom of God and that there are
no territories — no church owns a certain area. There can be three
Assemblies of God churches easily in this area, and we still wouldn't reach
SEAGEARS: I don't
necessarily call it a challenge, but preparing a church planter requires a great
investment of yourself. We view Andy Casper as a son in the Lord. My wife,
Linda, and I kind of mother and father Andy and his wife, Cindy, in this
tpe: How does
being part of MX9 make this church plant different from others?
SEAGEARS: The $30,000
in funding, which is paid back interest free, is not only a great blessing for
starter funds, but it is also a source of encouragement. Because of MX9 funds,
our district, the Potomac District, sees itself as a partner with the national
Church Planting and Development office to also provide additional funding. The
home church, Christ Chapel Mountaintop, provides matching funds and possible
creates a partnership where we are funding church planting while getting off
the ground quicker. MX9 says: "You're not alone. We affirm the call God has on
your life, and we're partnering with you to see it happen." It's really what
the kingdom of God should be — working together to reach people who don't
know the Lord.
tpe: How do you
feel about giving 10 percent of the church plant's income to missions as a
requirement for participation in MX9?
is what establishing a church is all about anyway. I believe a church should be
doing more than the 10 percent required. Missions is part of our budget —
it's already part of our DNA. We look forward to giving to missions —
giving back into church planting, to home missions and world missions. That's
part of who we are; it had better be or we're in the wrong business.
requirement creates an opportunity to invest back into the kingdom of God, and
it's an incentive for church plants to have a missions mind-set. It's very
important new churches develop that missional DNA early in the life. A
missional mind-set keeps us focused on our purpose of reaching people for
Christ and making disciples.
tpe: How does the
networking between the national, district, sectional and local levels affect
the church plant?
SEAGEARS: It adds
strength to the church plant. Not only do you have a district and a parent
church but also a national office praying and providing resources, experience,
and know-how. I believe this promotes a greater sense of care for the church
planter. It's critical we don't do things in isolation but that we work
collectively for a common purpose.
national office, the district, our section and our parent church are coming
together and supporting us in many ways. People are recognizing this is about
God's kingdom; this isn't about anyone's church.
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