[This post is part of the What Are We Up To In Ministry? series]
When Ali and I first knew we were going to move back to Florida, we were faced with a decision. I had gone to Dallas Seminary, not so much with the intention of being a lead pastor of a church, but with the intention of serving in ministry at a church somewhere once I graduated. Ideally, I was thinking I would like to serve as a small groups pastor, or something that involved a good amount of discipleship, teaching, and pastoral care. However, the decision we faced was whether or not we should move back closer to Ali’s family in Orlando, or whether I should just send my resume out to churches and move wherever I might get hired.
In the end, we decided to move to Orlando, and step out on faith that God would provide a way for us to get involved in a church there, and then move into a more formal position in ministry. We really loved The Village Church, where we had attended in Dallas, and wanted to try to be a part of a similar church here in Florida. Since The Village was part of the Acts 29 church planting network, we looked online to see what churches in that network were in Orlando, and we found one: CrossPointe Church. We started listening to the podcasts before we moved and then visited the first Sunday we were in Florida and have been there ever since.
After going there for a couple of weeks, I met with the connections pastor and he suggested we actually attend one of the other campuses and try to get plugged in there. CrossPointe is one church in the Orlando area but has 3 locations, with each location having its own staff and preaching pastor. The three congregations partner in prayer, encouragement, and a shared vision for gospel-centered ministry. The particular campus we were directed to was in the Waterford Lakes area of Orlando is right by the University of Central Florida (which happens to be the 2nd largest university in the nation). We started attending a small group right away, and eventually we got asked to help out with the worship team which is part of The Artist Community.
After school I started, I met with the pastor of our church, Jared, and tentatively asked about ways I could further get involved. In the short term, he said their most pressing need was for someone to lead the youth group, which for the size of church, is fairly small (3 kids, all of them siblings). In January, he said I could start a formal ministry internship. At the time, this was going to be centered around developing the youth ministry, but as the fall continued, we found ourselves in the midst of organically developing a college ministry.
Several college guys began coming to our small group, which up until then had been just young married couples. Before we knew it, outside of small group, our house had developed into a kind of hang out place for dinners and movies with some of these college guys and their friends. Also around this time, I started a theological reading group (now called The Marturo Collective) with some of those guys to help develop their ability to think theologically and we began meeting at our house once a week to talk about theology and apologetics (following this reading schedule)
Because of all this, my ministry internship was reshaped to focus on internal theological development in our church. I am continuing to lead a boys bible study for the youth, but the internship proper has shifted to resource development. We have a lot of young college students who really want to grow and learn, but as of now there is not a structure in place to accommodate that. My internship then is shaped around the following areas:
- Leading a small group
- Organizing and leading a supplemental reading group
- Planning and hosting movie nights as an outreach ministry (more on this soon!)
- Putting together research and position papers as assigned
- Developing a theological education model that other groups could implement
The goal is to have a church that though small, is raising up leaders who are not just on fire for Christ, but are actually daily growing in their knowledge of God and their affection for Christ and in turn passing that zeal and knowledge on to others.
I’m hoping that the ministry internship will be able to focus on using my theological training to aid and support the pastoral ministry of CrossPointe Waterford Lakes. I don’t particularly see myself as a pastor, though I do see myself as a shepherd. Therefore, I don’t want my theological training to be poured in pure research or scholarship, though I’d like to do both of those activities. Rather, I’d like to pursue theological scholarship and research for the support of the church, and not just “the church” in some kind of abstract sense, but this church.
In order for this to be a reality though, we need to raise financial support so I can work part time at a local high school and still be able to pour into and develop these college students in our small group and church. In a larger church, this might be considered a part time staff position that includes pay, but in this stage of the church’s development, everyone on staff is dependent on support to some degree.
If you’re interested in partnering with us financially, you can do so in one of two ways:
1. You can send a check to:
c/o Nate Claiborne
PO Box 781453
Orlando FL 32878
2. You can visit https://crosspointe.onthecity.org/give/login and give online.
You’ll need to either sign up for an account to be an on-going part of supporting our ministry, or you can give a one time donation without signing up.
Once on the giving page, you would need to select Waterford Lakes congregation in the first drop down menu, and then Nate Claiborne in the second drop down menu.
Even apart from financial partnership, we would love for you to partner with us in prayer. We do realize this isn’t the best time for many people, and understand if taking on additional expenses is just not possible for you. But we hope that there is time/space on your prayer list and we will keep you updated with any specific requests that we have. For now, pray for us as this ministry is developing and we transition into leading a small group. Pray that we would have the grace and wisdom we need for the task. Pray as well that we will be able to raise the financial support necessary. You may not be able to partner with us for that, but pray that God will provide for us and point us to people and resources that will help us in our ministry.