Investing in Future Church Planters
From Luke Greer, Director of Orchard Institute
When I began serving with new church plants in Mexico City, its growth rate was at a historical high of more than 500 people moving to the city daily. If we were going to reach only the city’s annual 180,000 new arrivals — not the 25 million who already lived there — then a new church of 500 would need to be planted every single day. We needed exponentially more workers for the harvest field (Luke 10). It was mind-boggling. It was impossible.
Thankfully — miraculously — God specializes in achieving the impossible (Luke 18:27). And he invites us to participate with him in the work of reconciling people to himself in our increasingly urban landscape.
Orchard Institute offers strategic partnerships with Christian universities to provide hands-on learning experiences in cities, and it provides a connection point for church planting college internships and post-graduate ministry residencies.
Last year, 5-day intensive classes were offered in San Francisco and New York that introduced students to the city, to church planting, and to God’s calling to this mission-critical context. This summer, Orchard Institute ministry residents began serving at Renewal Church in Chicago. And right now, in cities across the country and overseas, Orchard Institute alumni are serving on church staffs doing everything from leading new plants, to youth ministry, to worship arts.
Orchard Institute works to build up the next wave of field workers to sweat, serve, and preach in a world with more and more places like Mexico City. It is a recognition of and a response to the reality before us: as the world becomes more urban, so must the church.