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  • Tony Lynn

 Good changes




PLYMOUTH – I am in my ninth year working for the Send Network as the Send Network Director in Michigan.


Three years ago, I invited Matt Thompson to join the team as a church planting catalyst. Early during our partnership in the ministry, I saw the discipline, the spiritual gifts, and the dedication in Thompson that convinced me that I had found someone in whom I could invest extra time allowing him to see “behind the curtain” so that he could hopefully, one day increase his platform of service with the Send Network.


Others saw the progress Thompson made these past three years adding value to the Send Network, locally, regionally, and nationally. I am happy to say the day of recognition arrived for Thompson; and the timely expansion of his assignment as Lead Church Planting Catalyst, creates space for me to devote my time and energy on two important areas in Michigan.

 

My Changes

 

The two vital areas where I will redirect my efforts are . . .

 

1. Language/Ethnic Work – I will cultivate relationships, coach towards multiplication, and catalyze movement in language/ethnic church planting throughout Michigan. When called upon in the Midwest region, I will serve as a resource person in eleven other states.



2. Michigan Baptist Churches – I will assist BSCM churches in the application of the North American Mission Board’s pipelines for training, leadership development, and multiplication. These processes are convenient, flexible, and robust.

 

In order to recall how I will continue to serve Michigan Baptists you can use two titles to remember my newest direction. I am the “Send Network Director” in Michigan, and I am the “Language/Ethnic Church Planting Catalyst” in Michigan.

 

Thompson’s Changes

 

Matt Thompson’s new title is “Lead Church Planting Catalyst” in Michigan meaning he will serve as the main point person for leading all things Send Network in Michigan.

 

  1. Send Network Movement – Matt will lead the Send Network Michigan staff in continuing the mission, vision, values, and strategy seeing that we continue as a family of “churches planting churches everywhere for everyone.” He will be the first point of contact.

  2. Pathway Guide – Thompson and the team will help each potential planters and partnering churches move forward on their respective pathways:

    1. Potential planters will advance from assessment, to orientation, to training, to coaching, to care.

    2. Partnering churches will advance from cooperating, to supporting, to sending, to multiplying, to movement churches.

 

Regardless of our new or additional titles, Thompson, the team, and I, with our unending passion to effectively serve the pastors/planters and members of our churches are here for you.

 

Why Change?

 

Some of you may be asking, “Why make these changes?”

 

The answer is easy, “We see the Lord accelerating Gospel movement among the language/ethnic groups in Michigan. We are convinced this is the perfect time to increase the impact of the Kingdom of God in Michigan, the nation, and the world. Observing those advances, we must put more time into language/ethnic groups and longtime established churches in the state.”

 

Jesus Christ’s invitation to make the journey out of a sinful, human, broken existence into the Kingdom of God is streamed for everyone to see on the big 360o screen we call the Book of Acts.


In Acts 1:3 author Luke, summarizes what Jesus Christ did during the forty days in between his resurrection from the cave to his ascension through the clouds to the Father’s right hand in heaven. Luke writes, “During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God,” (italics added for emphasis).

 

Using your device or your paper edition of the Bible, flip to the last written chapter of the Book of Acts to see the final two verses. Acts 28:30-31 says, “For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him,” (italics added for emphasis).


Like any epic, memorable film, overcoming conflict to accomplish a mission is the highlight of the opening and ending of the gripping story! We see this in Acts 1 to the final verses of Acts 28.

 

The Book of Acts displays the heroic effort of thirty-two years of the early church continuing Jesus Christ’s mission to help others see, hear, and experience the Kingdom of God. Luke 17:20-21 records an interaction between community leaders who were spiritually blind, deaf, and dumb with Jesus Christ prior to his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.


The text says, One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you,” (italics added for emphasis).

 

“The Kingdom of God is already among you,” are some of the most hopeful and inspiring words. We believe we are approaching a new threshold in Michigan where we can see the Lord’s Kingdom expand and impact the world . . . but that expansion of the Kingdom requires change.

 

Let’s Talk About Change

 

Matt Thompson and I are available to discuss and explain these changes with anyone, so that we are all striving for the same Kingdom expansion. Call one or both of us for a visit: Tony Lynn, (734) 770-0608 and/or Matt Thompson (616) 202-8707.


 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Tony L. Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.




 


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