The Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews and Jewish Christians from Rome in A.D. 49 because rioting was taking place over a certain individual named “Chrestus”. Historians believe that this “Chrestus” was a misspelling of “Christus” which is Latin for Christ. We can conclude that the church in Rome was engaging the culture in the capitol city of the empire less than twenty years after the resurrection. Historically speaking this is phenomenal! The Jews and Jewish Christians were allowed to return to Rome, ironically under Nero, who would turn out to be a great persecutor of the church. History does not record how Rome was evangelized nor any specific evangelistic outreach by the early church. More than likely, Jews who had believed the gospel under Peter’s preaching at Pentecost had returned to Rome and started the church there. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome hoping to establish credibility with the church(es) that were there hoping to make Rome a base of operation for his evangelistic outreach to Spain, much like he had used Antioch as a base of operations for outreach in the east. History has recorded for us that early on Christians had a heart for spreading the gospel and making disciples who would establish churches.
As many of you know, Currey Creek desires to be a global church planting church. There have been several articles written in denominational publications applauding our efforts and accomplishments as a church planting church and for this we are grateful. However, what I find troubling is that Currey Creek is seen as exceptional rather than normative. What ought to be normative in our day is churches planting churches around the world. Why? Because the New Testament pattern has always been that churches start other churches to propagate the good news that Jesus Christ has come to save sinners!
I am so excited that Currey Creek is planting Bergheim Christian Fellowship (BCF) and partnering to plant churches in Syracuse, New York and Kochi, India. For several years now, the Lord has burdened my heart for a church in Bergheim that would flourish and be a faithful gospel witness. So, when Eric Cate approached me about being the founding pastor of a church in Bergheim there is no way that I could say “no” to what I perceived to be God’s activity. Jason (Syracuse) has planted churches in Alaska, Texas, and now Syracuse. It is in his blood and I have no doubt that the Lord will use him there. Ben and Benoi are trying to reach a shame-based, legalistic culture in a city that is multi-national and very influential globally. Pray for each of these ministries and their pastors. May God be glorified!