I recently had an opportunity to share my story and approach with a group of interns and church leaders from Gospel Grace Church in Salt Lake City. Gospel Grace is a recent church plant founded by four dedicated young planters.
Along with my colleague Danny Martin, we spent the morning over breakfast talking about ministry among Latter-day Saints. They wanted to hear my story of coming to faith in Christ after leaving Mormonism. It was encouraging to see this group asking thoughtful, stimulating questions as they grapple with how to engage their LDS friends and neighbors in meaningful faith conversations. I shared key concepts from my book Understanding Your Mormon Neighbor and gave everyone in the group a copy of the book. All in all it was a very engaging morning.
The team that planted Gospel Grace has a vision for planting more churches throughout Utah. They sponsor 4 summer Plant Camps each year involving 150+ students. They have 6 men in a 2-year church planting internship. They host the Enrich Conference to promote healthy ministry. They created Plant for the Gospel as a vehicle to advance these church planting initiatives. It was a privilege to share my thoughts and my hearts with this dynamic ministry.
On August 20, I will be speaking at a regional ministry conference called EQUIP 2016. Several northern Utah churches and ministries are working together to provide workshops for church and ministry volunteers and staff members. We especially want to serve and encourage church plants, which may not have resources to get training elsewhere.
The training starts at 9:00 am and ends by noon. It will be held at Alpine Church in Layton (254 W 2675 N, Layton UT 84041).
The workshops offered include:
- Effective Children’s Ministry
- Effective Small Groups
- Effective Volunteer Leadership
- Effective Worship Leading
- Effective Discipleship
My workshop will be called Effective Ministry to Mormons.
To find out more or to register for this event, go to lovingutah.org.
This week I started a new YouTube channel dedicated to providing resources for helping former Latter-day Saints navigate the journey into historic, biblical Christianity. The channel is called Mentoring Former Mormons.
I encourage you to subscribe and share it with others! There isn’t much there right now, but I’m planning to release one new video every Monday.
There will be two kinds of resources featured.
- Training resources for mentors. The training series will help prepare people to mentor or disciple transitioning Mormons. These videos will explore the unique issues former Mormons face on the journey, including emotional, relational, doctrinal, and cultural hurdles to overcome.
- Topics for transitioners. We will fill the library with all kinds of resources that mentors can use with former LDS to talk through key issues with them. A mentor can say, “Here’s a video about to how find relationships in a new church. Let’s watch it and talk about it.”
We’re partnering with the discipleship website pursueGOD.org, where the videos can be found with summaries and discussion questions to facilitate the mentoring process. Here’s a recent one called “God: Body or Spirit?” PursueGOD.org also has great materials on how to succeed at biblical mentoring.
If you are a former Latter-day Saint, I invite you to join me to have a conversation on camera about the issues you faced and overcame in your journey. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recently graduated our first intern. Madeline Tallman came from Tennessee to complete her 3-month experience in Utah in May. Maddie worked with Alpine Church and pursueGOD.org. She helped create curriculum materials for former Mormons, produced several videos on young adult issues, put on a week-long song-writing clinic in Brigham City, Utah, mentored two young women, and much more. Now that her term is over, Maddie has decided to stay in Utah – at least for a while. No longer under Utah Advance oversight, Maddie will continue to serve at Alpine Church, work on videos, and mentor others.
Our next intern arrives on August 15. Caroline Nix recently graduated from LeTourneau University in Texas. She became interested in ministry in Utah during a spring break mission trip in 2014, and became acquainted with Utah Advance at Urbana last December. Caroline will be assigned to work with Alpine Church. Her main focus will be youth ministry. She will be mentoring young women, helping with an inner-city mission trip, and developing online youth ministry curriculum materials for Alpine’s resource website, pursueGOD.org.
Caroline is working on advance preparations for her internship. This includes writing a statement of aspirations, working up a budget, reading key books, and being mentored. She is also raising funds for the trip. You can make a donation using the “Donate” button on the right (tax deductible), or check out her GoFundMe campaign.
We’re really excited about working with such high quality people as Maddie and Caroline. We appreciate the personal resources and commitment our interns invest in this experience, so we strive to treat them with respect and honor.
We have received inquiries recently from 2 other candidates interested in coming as early as this year, and 3 more looking at next year.