November 5, 2014

Orchard Institute

Dear prayer partners, When I began serving with new church plants in Mexico City, more than 500 people moving into the city daily. This statistic really hit me when I considered what it meant for the church’s task: 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. You’re likely aware of Orchard Group’s urban emphasis when planting new churches. But you may not know of another initiative that Orchard helped to pioneer in response to the growing need for urban church workers: Orchard Institute. The Institute has two key ingredients:

  1. strategic partnerships with Christian universities to provide hands-on learning experiences in cities
  2. a connection point for church planting college internships and ministry residencies

c6459d51-55a1-4572-9e9a-6503e02c3c7a The Institute initiative is working: Over the past year, several 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 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.  Thank you for your generous partnership and prayer. You are playing an important part in God’s impossibly good work! Luke

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