Home Articles & Excerpts Christ Community | Champaign, IL

Christ Community | Champaign, IL

  • Andrew Kamm
  • Aug 1, 2011
  • Series: Church Profiles
  • Categories: Church Planting Articles, Latest News

Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church

I was on a family vacation in 2005. A guy took me out on his boat and told me to plant churches. He reasoned with me for an hour and dropped me off on shore.

God pierced my soul that afternoon. And I began to experiment with this 'calling.' I tried to start things like Bible Studies in my dorm and small businesses. And I tried to preach and explain the gospel to people. The pastors at my church confirmed that it did in fact seem to be an authentic calling.

Moral of the story, if you don't want to plant churches don't take boat rides from strangers.

How did you build up your core? What advice would you give to guys in the core-stage?

My wife and I asked two family friends of ours to help us plant Christ Community. They initially laughed at us, but we kindly asked them if we could pray that God would give them a heart to plant churches. They agreed and each came back to us and asked if they could help us launch a church.

Then together we launched a missional community which multiplied and multiplied again. We then asked those folks populating our missional communities to help us launch Christ Community.

This has worked great for us thus far because the people on our launch team have experienced life in a community on mission. They have been and continued to be saturated in environments where the gospel is proclaimed.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in planting your church (and/or currently facing)?

Champaign-Urbana, home of the University of Illinois, has chewed up and spit out a dozen or so church planters in the last decade. We are not the first planters to land here and the men that failed were good, Godly men that I respect. Yet somehow they failed to crack the missional code here.

We need to be great missionaries to our community, to two cities that have resisted the gospel in favor of faith in enlightenment and post-enlightment thought.

How did you become involved with Acts 29? What have been the biggest benefits of being in the network?

The network is all about the friendships. Acts 29 has blessed me with a network of friends that have walked the road before me. Frankly, Acts 29 is made up of a bunch of really good pastors who have come alongside of me and become my pastor.

What advice do you have for men who are wrestling with the decision to plant? 

Don't wait to live out the values of your church plant. Believe and go about the work of a gospel minister now. Then connect with Acts 29 and learn from the men who have gone before you.

What’s the most important thing you’d want to share with a new church planter?   

Don't plant on your own. Get a great team of leaders and potential leaders around you. Imagine your dream team and pray for them daily. Pray that God would give them to your plant. If you can't find these men, if no one will follow you, you might question whether or not you should lead a church.

Second thing, get assessed by Acts 29. They are going to hurt your feelings, but you need it. If you are going to lead a church, a local expression of the body of Christ, you need to have qualified me asking you hard questions.

How do you pastor your family?

I create space for my wife to pursue Jesus. Its all very mundane, but doing dishes and laundry and taking the little guy for the morning does more to serve my wife's pursuit of Jesus than all of my preaching and gospel application.

Outside of the Bible, what is the most helpful book you have read for church planting?

Total Church [by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester]


Church Profile: Christ Community
Launch Date: September 2011
Location: Champaign, IL

Mission, Vision, Values of Church 

Christ Community exists to make Jesus followers and plant churches.

What are some examples of God's grace that you have seen in your life and/or the life of your church?

Great team of leaders.
Great launch team.
Great team of financial partners.
I get to pastor and be part of a church I love.

How can we pray for you?

Pray that the gospel would take root in our lives as leaders and in our launch team. Pray for the Spirit's fruit of patience in me as pastor.