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CU Chapel: What it takes to plant a church

By Daisy Rodriguez

Campbellsville, KY - Jared Arnett, a member of a "church planting" team from Southland Christian Church in Lexington, discussed how his business career turned into a full-time church planting job at Campbellsville University's chapel recently.

Lee Webb, Nathan Head and Connor Hall are also members of the team.

Arnett said his life has drastically changed since he attended college. He wanted to do many things with his business degree, but God told him none of that mattered.

Arnett told God, "If you want me to do none of that, I'll go into fulltime ministry if you want," said. "God took my career in a totally new direction," he said.

He started working for Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR); where he also met his wife and started preaching. He asked himself how he made it this far. God was using him to plant churches.

Arnett is the founding and lead pastor at New Beginnings Church in Pikeville, Ky. Before entering ministry, he was one of the first leaders of (SOAR).

Webb said that his story is not a traditional ministry type of story. He said one morning he woke up and decided to read scripture, which is something he doesn't do often.

He said he read Hebrews 13.

"The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so, Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

"Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly process his name."

He said something happened to him that morning when he read that passage. He said he had a vision of Jesus and him going outside.

Webb said Jesus didn't die for us in a comfortable place. It was outside. He said it was the same place where the lepers were, and they were not allowed in the city. "If you had the disease and someone was coming near them, they had to shout "unclean!," Webb said.

"That's the place where Jesus went for us," he said. "He went for us as people. And I was thinking, I'm pretty comfortable. I've been very fortunate to have parents raise me in school and church. My dad had Sunday School lessons on Saturday night. And there's nothing wrong with that, but I had built up this mindset of having privilege being an insider," Webb said.

He said the passage tells us to go where Jesus went -- the outside. He said he started looking at the Baptist church he was in and how everything seemed comfortable to him. However, Jesus went to a place where it wasn't clean for us.

Webb said there are things required to think about church planting as follows:

"A love for Jesus and the desire to follow him into the unknown. To be an ordinary person that has a calling from God and good character. A love for building biblical community teams. A love for your city, county or hometown. A heart for people to get to know Jesus and a focus for making disciples."

Webb joined Southland Christian Church in 2020 as its church planting director. He has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, is a licensed real estate broker in Kentucky and holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCMI) designation.

Head talked about investing in church planting. He also spoke about two important institutions that God had set up and that are his institutions.

"One of those is marriage. From the very beginning of time, we know that God created everything; male and female. He brought them together in a coveted union under his supervision, leadership and guidance.

"The other institution that God instituted is in the book of Acts; chapter two and it's the birth of the church. And most of us in this room are here because somewhere along the way we were a part of church that pointed us to Jesus and encourage us to continue to follow him," Head said.

He said the team purpose is to plant churches all around the Commonwealth of Kentucky. There are many churches in Kentucky, but he said churches go through a cycle and will always go through a different form.

"We can plant healthy thriving churches all across the Commonwealth of Kentucky to reach the next generation and the generation after that," Head said.

He said their purpose is to pour themselves out in the lives of those residents and give them an experience serving in a local church.

Head is the lead pastor of Impact Ministries at Southland Christian Church. He has been on staff at Southland since 2006, and has served in a variety of roles during his time there. He grew up in Florida and graduated from Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo., with a degree in Biblical Literature.

Hall was born in Lexington, Ky., and grew up in Georgetown. Shortly after graduating high school, he moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he worked for Regions Financial Corporation as a branch manager and motivational speaker. He served as the student and teaching pastor for King & City Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

This story was posted on 2022-04-02 09:14:47
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