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Introduction

Hey everyone. This is the first newsletter we've sent out. I appreciate all of you staying up to date. I did add few of you to the list on my own. So if you don't want to get these updates, go ahead and unsubscribe down at the bottom.

The plan is to send out a newsletter every Wednesday for the next couple weeks and then once a month or so after that. We appreciate you taking the time to read through this stuff and keep us in your prayers. We are very excited about what's going and what God has planned for us in the next few years.

- Jon

Why we want to start a new church in San Francisco


San Francisco is a wonderful place full of wonderful people. But it's a place that needs a lot more gospel preaching churches. We are the least churched city in the country in just about every measurable stat. We don't need one new church here. We need a church planting movement here. I'm thankful for the churches who have planted here in the last few years (Reality, Christ Church, Citizens, Redemption, First Presbyterian, Trinity, Bay City Church among others). These churches are an answer to years of prayer by believers here in San Francisco. But we've only scratched the surface. We don't need 10 or 15 new churches. We need hundreds of new churches here in San Francisco loving people and proclaiming the good news of the gospel.

Our hope is for The Porch to be a part of this movement. Everywhere a Church is planted, the kingdom of the enemy is pushed back and the kingdom of light shines in the darkness. We want to be a light in this city that shines brightly. We want to be a community that loves people and meets them where they are. In Acts 17:6 Paul and the believers in Thessalonica are accused of "turning the world upside down." That's our prayer for San Francisco. God is working in this world to undo the effects of the fall. He's the one turning the world upside down. We believe that church planting is a great way to have front row seats to watch Him do this.

What have we been up to?

I worked at Dolores Park Church from the time I was 20 until just before my 33rd birthday. When I phased out there, I was exhausted. I took a little bit of time to unwind and slow down (I also got sick for about a month and a half right after I left). DPC also gave me a more than generous severance package that allowed me time to unwind and prepare for the journey ahead. So if you are a DPCer - thanks - that was greatly appreciated.

After a few months, we began the assessment process to become church planters. We did this with two groups. Our denomination (The Evangelical Free Church of America) and a church planting network (Acts 29). Those assessments were very in-depth. They looked at all kinds of aspects of my ministry, personality, our marriage and our calling to plant a church. We finished our assessment with the EFCA in June of last year and were approved. We then spend a week in Las Vegas being assessed with Acts 29 in October. We passed on to the next step with them. As of now we are a candidate church with Acts 29 and hopefully will move to full member status once we start meeting.

One tidbit that came out of both assessments had to do with my resume/ministry experience. Most pastors with 12+ years of experience have bounced around a little. I'd only ever been a part of one church (and not just as a pastor - it's also the church I grew up in). Both assessments suggested that I spend some time in a second church environment before I planted. So Toby Kurth and the awesome folks at Christ Church SF reached out and have taken us in. I'm currently doing a church planting residency with these guys. They are one of the most kingdom focused/church plant supporting churches I've ever seen. The Porch will be the 4th church plant that they have had a hand in launching even though they've been around less than 10 years.

Sunday Dinners

One of the hopes in church planting is to create a community where a) believers are growing in faith b) people who aren't followers of Jesus can be exposed to the love of God. Our first gathering of people has been shooting at that second goal. Starting back in June we began hosting Sunday dinners every other Sunday night at our place in Nob Hill. These have been casual dinners with friends and with folks interesting in planting. We just want to get people together. So far, we've had as many as 20ish people and as few as 3 or 4. But at all the dinners we've really enjoyed building relationships with people. If you are interested in joining us or know someone who might be, shoot me an email and I'll get you the details. All are welcome.
 

Vision Meetings/Core Team Plans

In September we will be hosting two "Vision Nights." We'll do these on 16th and the 30th so mark your calendar if you are interested in coming. The purpose of these meetings will be to gather folks interested in joining the core team together and to lay out the vision of a) why church planting is vital to reaching San Francisco with the gospel and b) what this new church will look like. Then, starting in October, the weeks where we aren't doing the big Sunday Dinners will roll into a Sunday night church gathering/Bible study time. We are praying and hoping that the core team will slowly start to grow and get into the 20's or 30's this fall/winter. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in joining us on the core team, let me know. I'd be happy to take you/them to coffee and chat about what we are doing. We aren't looking for super saints. Just regular folks who love Jesus and want to see others come to love him as well.

How To Keep Up To Date

The main way to keep up to date is to actually take time to read these newsletters that I'll send out. If you are reading this far, I assume that you are one of the people who doesn't skim these sorts of things. Congrats. You rock.

The second way to keep up to date is through our website and social media.

instagram is: @porch_sf
website is: porchsf.com
email: jon@porchsf.com

 

Prayer Requests:

For the people in our neighborhood who haven't met Jesus yet. Ask God to send his Spirit out in front of us and to work on people's hearts before we ever meet them.
For our fundraising. I'll talk more about this in a few weeks but we have a fundraising goal that's stressing me out. It's expensive to start a church in SF. We are starting a big fundraising push so pray for provision. If you'd like to become a financial partner, head over to the website. There's donation information at the bottom of the home page.
For the gathering of people. Our goal of hitting 20-30 core team people by winter isn't going to be easy. God has already made some really neat and random connections. Pray that more and more people will jump on board with what's happening and join up.
On a personal note... We've been foster parents to a wonderful baby girl since January and now she's heading back to live with her grandma. It's a lot to handle at the same time we are getting rolling with the church plant. We do plan on getting right back on the list so hopefully we'll have another baby soon but our hearts are heavy. Pray for our marriage, our faith and for whatever kid we are placed with next. We love being foster parents but man, it's going to be very hard to say goodbye to our little one.
 

Next Update Preview:

Fort the next few weeks I'm gonna send out one of these emails every Wednesday. After that, we'll probably send out a newsletter about once a month or so. Here's a preview of what's coming next week:

• Stats and information about our neighborhood (the North East part of SF).
• What are missional families and how will The Porch be organized?
• What is a core team and what will that look like?
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PorchSF · 1225 Clay St · #10 · San Francisco, Ca 94108 · USA

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