Posted in: Meet a Church Planter
Meet a Church Planter: Kevin Galloway in Michigan City, IN
Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church
I was called to help lead a large existing church into and through the deep change needed to help transform it into a missional church.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting your church (and/or currently facing)?
The biggest challenges faced were that of folks resisting changes to an established 30 year old church. Many of those folks ultimately left to attend churches that offered them more of what they were used to, thus making room for people coming to faith for the very first time. This addition of new believers in contrast to membership shifts and transfers has forced us to a deeper discipleship and formation praxis for new believers as well as those who have known Jesus for years.
How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?
I became familiar with A29 as I have followed Mars Hill and The Resurgence on the web. The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago allowed me to meet and speak with Tyler Powell and other A29 pastors which led to a phone call with Scott Thomas and a subsequent trip to Seattle to meet with Scott and Tyler. They have been such a great help to me and the Countryside community already!
What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant?
First and foremost-Jesus is first. He always has been and always will be. Make sure He is first in your decision to plant. If not-it won't last. I would ask the question, "Are you confident in your calling and has this calling been affirmed?" If not, run away because this role can kill you, your marriage, and the church you are trying to lead. I would advise the young men to seek opportunities to serve under an older gospel-centered pastor previous to their "going out" to plant. The mentoring and ongoing relationship with a man like that would be invaluable in years to come.
How do you pastor your family?
My family is my ministry. I try to shepherd and disciple my wife and children through the teaching and sharing of the word, prayer, and time together. We share openly about God in our home and we share about our lives together. Our entire family is involved in the mission of the church allowing us to serve God and others together.
Church Website: Countryside Church
What is your philosophy of community in your church and what does that look like practically in your church? Of evangelism?
The mission of Countryside is realized in community, discipleship, and mission. We hold all three in high regard and teach everyone at Countryside to engage each one. Community is realized in church membership, small groups, and mid-sized groups that we call Interchange. Interchange is a theological learning discussion that takes place in different areas of our communities such as restaurants, pubs, coffee houses, and church buildings. These groups are led by pastors and elders. We believe that community occurs as we help each other in discipleship and as we serve together.
What are some examples of God's grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?
We've been through so much as we have led Countryside through deep change. In that, we have lost friends and relationships. God has provided so much strength and grace to lead us and confirm God's calling in our lives. He has surrounded us with wonderful elders and staff to partner and endure with. To be honest and not cheesy-Acts 29 is an evidence of that grace.
How can we pray for you?
Pray that we make much of Jesus in all we do....
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