On the Road Again

by New Church Starts

by Emily Reece, Path1 New Church Strategist

P1RT_FB_ProfilePicLast week’s Path 1 e-newsletter publically welcomed Doug Ruffle to the Path 1 staff. Over the past few months, Doug has taken on many of the tasks I used to do for the team, enabling me to work for Path 1 in a new way. As the New Church Strategist now focused in the North Central Jurisdiction, I am deployed “Back Home Again in Indiana” after living eleven years in the Nashville area. The Path 1 Summer Road Trip allows me to get into a rhythm of exploring my new “territory” and listening.

In my new role, one responsibility on my plate involves developing training materials for church planters and their teams. In my experience as a curriculum developer over the past several years I’ve found that being “on the road” offers the best feedback for what works, what doesn’t and what we still need to create. I’m viewing my summer road trip as an opportunity to hear from people “in the field” and begin working on new resources that fill gaps and strengthen existing systems.

The bulk of my road trip will take place in one long sweep through the North Central Jurisdiction, on my way to and from the School of Congregational Development (SCD) in Denver, CO (If you have not already registered for SCD, or would like to learn more, please visit www.scdumc.org). I’ll start out in Ohio, then spend some time with my colleague, Sam Rodriguez, meeting with the graduates of the Hispanic Academy in Northern Illinois, before moving along to Wisconsin and Minnesota.

After that, I’ll be in Watertown, SD, where road_trip_mapCornerstone Church is becoming a multiplying machine, having given birth to a second site, Encounter, and to one of the fastest-growing church plants in recent years, Embrace, in Sioux Falls (Gotta get a sample of that church’s DNA!). On my way back from SCD, I will be stopping in Iowa and my old stomping grounds of Central Illinois before heading home.

During May and June I have already made a couple of journeys that I consider my “warm-up” road trip before the main event in August. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts and observations about those visits as I process my learnings.

See you “on the road” this summer!

Time to hit the road. You can follow Emily's road trip at her Twitter @ereecepath1.

Stay tuned for more summer blogs from the road.