Portland, Oregon

Can A Dying Church Grow Again?

Is it easier to give birth than raise the dead?

Dictionary.com defines replanting: “To plant (something) again or in a new place”. A replanted church dies to its former glory, its methods, its structure, and its practices and strategically plants its resources (body, budget, and buildings) in the spiritual ground.The result could produce a virile replanted church with a God-renewed mission to give life to the spiritually dead community in which it ministers.I believe God is glorified significantly when this happens. It can be a corporate example of the spiritual renewal many individuals need. We have the potential to do just that!

A door has been opened to replant Genesis Community Fellowship. God is amazing, who can fathom his ways! In short, they are as a congregation in full agreement in letting Genesis die and One H.O.P.E. be birthed with the vision God has given us. We are in the beginning stages of this development and we plan to walk patiently through the process of replanting and planning together. Donald Frazier, the current pastor, plans to transition to retirement as I gradually take on more responsibility and receive more authority. I have already been allowed to make small changes to the order of worship and revise some of the elements in the Sunday gathering.

Is it easier to give birth than raise the dead? With God all things are possible. We have covered this opportunity in much prayer. Please join us in prayer for the tough road ahead of replanting a dying church.
Gospel Conversations
God granted several people to share the gospel with last month. We have had neighbors over (entertaining evangelism), and more on the schedule this month. We have shared Christ at the parks, bus stops, and on street corners
Pray for Us
Pray for all the church planters here in Portland who labored all summer planting the gospel seed. Pray that this fall they will reap a harvest.Pray for my family. The kids are in school, my oldest is working, Menya is teaching little Tytus at home. Pray that God continues to help them adjust and fall in love with the city of Portland.
Work has begun Genesis
I am discipling a group of men (some of which are elders) on Wednesday nights.I am preaching twice a month.We are cultivating relationships by personally hanging out with every family at Genesis.We are planning and organizing a Children’s Sunday school class. It will launch Oct. 6.
What is Co-Vocational
School has begun. I teach at Faubion School, connected to Concordia University. I have 23 wonderful kids and families to teach and serve this year. 

Co-vocation embodies the reality that if a person is called to be a teacher; and at the same time are called to start a church, the different callings are not isolated from one another, instead they are actually interlinked and equal. The language of co-vocation pushes against the temptation to compartmentalize different aspects of our lives. When we begin to understand that each of our callings is legitimate and necessary aspects of God’s mission; they can be leveraged together for His purposes. And that’s what I plan to do!
Pastor Ricardo Barber and Family