It takes a village to raise a child, according to an old proverb. Brad and Stephanie Vos, pastor and pastor’s wife of Crossway Church, a Christian Reformed Church plant in Vancouver, Wash., are learning that it takes a village to raise a church plant.
Crossway Church is supported by Faith Christian Reformed Church, Sioux Center, Iowa. In addition to supporting the Vos family and other missionaries through monetary offerings, Faith’s Missions and Outreach Committee assigns a group of approximately 15 households to a missionary or church planter. Household groups encourage “their” church planter or missionary by sending Christmas and birthday gifts, care packages, gift cards, and emails. Households have also organized potlucks, cookie fellowship times, and group activities when the missionary or church planter visits.
“To me, the ongoing nature of this is the coolest part,” says Vos. “It is really the simple things like the emails, letters, and unexpected Christmas gifts that show a personal concern from others.”
The Vos family has formed deep relationships with families at Faith CRC through this outreach program. The households have not only taken an interest in Vos’s church plant but in his family life as well. “Some members of the group receive our prayer (private) and regular (public) newsletters. . . . I know that people were reading our blog/Facebook when we were going through the ups and downs of our second adoption” said Vos.
It helps church planters like Brad and Stephanie Vos know that people outside of their community are connected to their ministry. Duane Postma, a member of the outreach committee at Faith CRC, said, “We’ve developed stronger personal relationships with our missionaries by doing this. It has encouraged us to know that effort on our parts, which seem fairly small, have had such a positive impact in the ministry and the lives of our missionaries.”