2019 has been a whirlwind for the Connellys -- and God has been so clear, gracious, and good in every step of the way.
From Staff Elder to Lay Elder
In January, I was leading The City Church and directing church planting for the Soma Family of Churches. Many of you know that in 2018 my family -- with the affirmation of close friends and our elders -- felt that the growing "holy burden" of both those roles was too much. As 2019 began we were on our way toward transitioning off of The City Church's staff, which occurred at the end of May. I'm still a lay elder in the church we planted, but I joined a Canada-based missions organization called Multiply full time, with the aim of being its US Director.
To Canada and Back Again
This was a beautiful, kingdom-minded move; Multiply had worked closely with many North American organizations, and was even going to lend me back to Soma -- one of its closest North American partners -- to keep leading its church planting efforts. But then... Three days after my start date in June, I learned that Multiply's leadership decided to discontinue their interdenominational North American church planting efforts.
To be clear, Multiply went above and beyond in taking care of me and the other staff who were let go. They have continued to bless me, even as I write this, six months later. And over the summer, with Multiply's blessing some of the newly-released staff worked together to re-start the interdenominational North American efforts, as a new org called C2C Collective. But as summer turned to fall, I encouraged this new team that C2C would truly be at its best, at least in the next few years, if it went back to its Canadian roots. We all agreed that it needed to rebuild on its foundation before looking at working in the US. So, for the second time this summer, I found myself without a job!
Today and Looking Toward 2020
After lots of prayer, conversations in the Connelly house and with different organizations, I'm excited to end the year as Director of Training for Saturate, which was started as Soma's mission to serve the broader Church in North American and beyond. I'll also get to carry out some of that training mission on a local level, leading a group of church leaders in pursuing gospel saturation together, called Plant Fort Worth.
So there's the whirlwind of our 2019: in this one year, I've been involved with six different organizations -- and as we walk into 2020, I'm thrilled that God has landed me "back home," in both roles and organizations that fit my gifts, experience, philosophy, and passion. There has been so much grace, not just in the end of this story, but in every week of its unfolding.
For the foreseeable future, Jess and I will get to equip Christians in gospel fluency, everyday discipleship and mission, and Missional Community leadership; we'll get to expand our five years' experience training church planters to a broader audience; and we'll develop trainers to accomplish those ends, across the world. I believe in the vision of Saturate training, to the point that I'm raising prayer and 100% financial support, to get this "start up" branch of the organization off the ground.
We're developing a team to regularly pray for us, and are also raising $120,000 for 2020. This covers our salary as well as organizational costs related to the work of Saturate training next year. By God's grace, in a month of support-raising we have a strong prayer team developing and he's provided 50% of our financial goal for 2020. So we had much to be thankful for over Thanksgiving! On this #givingtuesday, we would be honored if you'd consider #giving your prayer support to our family (join the team here), or considering #giving financially to help meet Saturate's 2020 financial need (give online here). For more details, you can find a .pdf of our support letter here.
As a small "thank you" for #giving, I'm happy to send anyone who donates $75 or more today one of the books I've gotten to help write: A Field Guide for Everyday Mission, Gospel Fluency Handbook, or Saturate Field Guide. Simply shoot me your address and tell me which you'd like here, so that I can give to you as you join in #givingtuesday.
Thanks for reading, praying, and #giving. On behalf of my family and Saturate, I'm grateful.