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A Season of Prayer for Discernment:

Shall we partner to plant a mission church in Ashland?

Ashland, Oregon

Why plant a new church?

The single best tool for reaching the lost is church planting. While existing churches tend to reach people who already attend church, new churches tend to reach new people—especially younger adults. New churches have a missionary energy, and partnering with a new church can revitalize existing churches. 

Who is the planter?

Erin Crowley has a passion to see people enter God’s kingdom. She came to faith in a church plant as a young adult. She planned to enter medicine, but felt a calling to ministry, and went to Azusa Pacific for both college and seminary. Before graduating she volunteered at Flood (a young adult-focused church) and served at First Presbyterian San Diego. After seminary she served Rolling Hills Church near Portland as outreach director, and currently serves an interim role in a Methodist church in Vancouver, WA. She will be pursuing ordination in ECO.

Why Ashland?

Erin senses strongly that the Holy Spirit is calling her to Ashland. It also has a largely unreached young adult population, with a spiritually seeking vibe. The vision is NOT to plant a church like Westminster, to compete with existing churches. The vision is like the early church: to send a missionary to Ashland, who will train others to be missionaries, to form a mission outpost.

What would the cost be?

We would fund a “residency” for three years, during which time the new church would launch. The first year we’d pay 100% of Erin’s salary ($40,000), then 75% in year 2, then 50% in year 3, plus full benefits. She would raise the rest from sources outside WPC. Another Presbyterian church will be funding her training. The total cost to WPC is under $120,000 over three years.

In addition, we will look to send about 25 people as a launch team, who commit to be part of the new church for a year. They may stay after that year or return to WPC.

What do we do now?

Pray!!! Your elders are discerning this now, so please pray for wisdom, for clarity, and for unity.

Learn. We are forming a team to involve the congregation further. For now, take a look at the following resources: 

  • Handout given to the College of Elders meeting. (Click here.
  • Proposal, under discussion by our Session of elders. (Click here.

Listen and Share. Listen for God’s voice and direction. Share your excitement, and share your good, hard questions. Above all, listen for the voice of the Spirit, and seek to speak the truth in love.  

If God is in this, we want to be part of it! If this is not God’s calling for us right now, we want no part of it. We are seeking God’s will, and we do that best when we do it together. 

Please do pray!