Posted in: Meet a Church Planter
Meet A Church Planter: Brent Thomas in Peoria, Arizona
Our network continues to grow and we are amazed, blessed and excited to be a part of God's work in bringing more to know & trust Jesus in the Southwest.
Brent Thomas grew up in Arizona in the Glendale-Peoria area, and though he left and pastored in other areas of the country with his wife Kristi and their family, it became clear Brent was to plant Church of the Cross in his hometown – and he sees his background as a local as a benefit to his ministry there as he has a deep love for his home and the people of Peoria, Arizona.
Acts 29: What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting Church of the Cross?
Thomas: Much of our initial core came from "traditional evangelicalism." This meant that much of our initial challenge was overcoming preexisting notions of "what church looks like." This "evangelical baggage" has been coupled with the challenges of suburbia (false security, fulfillment and community, consumerism, etc.).
Acts 29: How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?
Knowing that we did not want to be "lone rangers," we began to explore our options... Acts 29 seemed to be the perfect fit for us. Very few organizations seemed to stress deep doctrine, missional living and cultural engagement the way Acts 29 does.
Acts 29: What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?
Know yourself, your calling and your culture. The call to plant must be coupled with a call to a particular culture as well. I was an Associate Pastor for a short time in rural KY and it didn't take long to realize that I often thought quite differently than those raised in that part of the country. Suburban AZ and rural KY share different sensibilities and it became quite important to quickly realize this in light of who God has called me to be. This isn't good or bad, it just is.
You must be convinced of and committed to your specific call. That conviction will bear you through many dark times.