Matt, Heather, Jones & Macrae:

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Friday, February 6, 2009

An Important Message To All Our Blog Subscribers

God has spoken clearly that we should plant a church in Chicago. We have almost completed our Church Planting Training program in St. Louis and are aiming to arrive in Chicago at the beginning of April. We would like to ask all the subscribes to our blog to pray for us and to consider participating in the joy that we have ahead of us. Let's do a recap first ... 

So how did we arrive at this decision?
  • Leaders throughout my life have validated my leadership calling and gifting. In one way or another these men got me here through varying degrees of verbal confirmation and life input: Steve Whittington, Bob Hollway, Andy Back, Chris Jarvis, Pete Brooks, Steve Horne, Terry Virgo, Joel Virgo, Tommy Stanley, Dan Evans, Carl Herrington, Rick Hein, Curt Mccutchan, John Lanferman and Bryan Mowrey (I know I missed a few people).

  • When Heather and I first met we discovered that God had clearly spoken to us about a BIG calling on our lives. I shared a vision God had given me about my future and it almost identically matched something Heather had received as a young girl. God joined me with the perfect mate to support and encourage me through my adventures in leadership.
  • I grew up in Newfrontiers, a church planting movement, and have always had church planting on the map. I didn't know if I would lead a church plant, but I sure wanted to. Because of this we both undertook 3 years of Newfrontiers-USA leadership training through the Trilogy Project.

  • Life in Kansas City was getting frustrating. I had a successful marketing career, leadership positions in the ONEBLAZE Midwest Christian youth camp and at Grace Church in Lee's Summit had opened up. But I wasn't satisfied. God was disturbing me deeply and life didn't seem right. We had to go. 

  • In 2008 Jubilee Church in St. Louis started a Church Planting Training program. God spoke to me one day at work and said "I'm with you all the way!" It was broad and open ended but it was all the confirmation I needed. We left everything behind to pursue the call. I now have a plaque in my kitchen that Heather made with those words plastered across it! 

  • During the last worship gathering at ONEBLAZE in St. Louis 2008 God spoke to Heather and said "Chicago is yours for the taking". I had already been feeling that we needed to be in a big city and was strongly drawn to Chicago. So that was it -- Chicago! 

  • This year has been full of miracles which further validate His calling. God miraculously zeroed out a medical bill worth $2500 -- sick, I know. For Jones we only ended up paying $25 of medical bills. He gave us the most perfect apartment in St. Louis for this year of training. God moved David and Emma Hosier from London to Chicago in the midst of an economic downturn. God provided freelance work right at the moment of financial collapse. He instantly healed a man I prayed for at the gas station. God safely brought our son into the world. And the list goes on ... 
All of this was done in God's providence. He has also connected us with a small group of pioneering Christians in Chicago. He sent amazing people like Tim & Chloe Steinke ahead of us to get things ready. I can hardly believe what God has done -- without us doing anything. It is the continual working of His salvation. He does ALL the saving. His grace is sufficient. 

With all that history in mind, and some seriously cool history in the making, we would like to ask all our blog subscribers to prayerfully consider financially supporting us for the next 12 months. We know this is no small thing to ask especially in our economic climate. We are confident of Gods provision for us because He has already laid it on the hearts of others to serve the new work in Chicago. 

Please seek the Lord in prayer about a monthly or onetime gift to support us. If you do feel impressed my the Holy Spirit to partner with us go ahead and submit the pledge form here. Please also continue to pray for us. 

In Christ,

Matt, Heather, Jones & Macrae Sweetman

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