Archives For Purpose Driven Church

Ron Sylvia

While Ron Sylvia sat in a worship service in June 1994, God began a conversation with him. “Ron,” God said, “I want you to begin a contemporary praise and worship church.”

While awaiting confirmation, Ron says his son, Jared, tugged on his sleeve and said, “Daddy, I love to hear you preach. I wish I could hear you preach every Sunday.”

Despite the supportive comment, Ron was still full of doubt. Later in the service, his eyes made contact with a man he had not seen for quite some time. They smiled and nodded, and afterward, the man found Ron and asked if they could have lunch later that week.

Days later, the man told Ron he was leaving their current church, to find another house of worship — something more contemporary. Confirmations continued to come daily through conversations, Scripture, and conflict. Ron knew that God was tugging on his heart to start a new church, but he didn’t know how, where, or what.

In Ron’s daily quiet times, the Lord led him to Psalm 37, which confirmed the calling to launch Church @ The Springs near Orlando, Florida. God was clearly calling Ron;…

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Bishop A V VinesIn 2005, Pastor Glenn D. Bone of Good Seed Ministries in Chicago was presented with the Church Health Award from Pastor Rick Warren and Purpose Driven Ministries. After that, Pastor Bone began traveling all over the country passionately teaching Purpose Driven principles to church pastors and leaders. Eventually he became one of five approved PD coaches.

One of the connections he made along the way was with Pastor A. B. Vines of New Seasons Church in San Diego. The pair originally met at a Purpose Driven Conference, and they reconnected in 2013 when Pastor Bone called him about implementing PD strategies in his church. By that time, Pastor Vines had three campuses in San Diego and hoped to plant more churches throughout the country.

The following year, Pastor Vines invited Pastor Bone to come out to California to speak at a leadership conference. While there, he showed Pastor Bone a new campus and encouraged him to move to San Diego so they could to do Kingdom work together. Although Pastor Bone and his wife, Carla, loved San Diego, they felt God wanted them to remain in Chicago.

Then something happened that was…

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Pastor Clarence Stowers Jr. is passionate about helping the people of his congregation connect the dots of life so they can live abundantly. Succeeding his father, Dr. Clarence E. Stowers Sr., in 1999, Stowers was 33 years old when he was installed as pastor of Mars Hill Baptist Church in Chicago. As is so often the case, opportunity came disguised as a seemingly insurmountable obstacle when he inherited a traditional Baptist church that had plateaued.

Pastor C. E. StowersStowers says that based on almost every metric available, he knew he had to do something fast or the church’s attendance would decline. “The optimistic side of me was determined to turn our church around,” he recalls.

In 2000, he attended the Purpose Driven Church Conference at Saddleback Church. Following the event, Stowers worked hard to formulate and cast a new vision for Mars Hill Church, located just west of downtown Chicago.

“I restructured our church, hired staff, and with fresh enthusiasm, we were off to a great start,” explains Pastor Stowers. “I anticipated smooth sailing ahead. What I didn’t anticipate is that everyone wants change until it affects them personally.”

Stowers came to realize that those…

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Saddleback PEACE - Great CommissionIn an effort to take the Good News to the last 3,000 unreached tribes, Saddleback hosted over 500 people during the Finishing the Task Conference December 6-8. Now in its third consecutive year at the Lake Forest campus, the event brought together a global network of local churches, denominations, church planters, mission agencies, and organizational leaders committed to reaching Unengaged, Unreached People Groups (UUPGs).

By partnering together, they moved closer toward fulfilling the Great Commission through church-planting initiatives and sharing the Good News around the world. The conference was attended by three groups: church or organizational leaders wanting to send people on mission; resource providers raising finances or training tools; and mission mobilizers promoting the engagement of UUPGs through building awareness.

According to Jesse Stedman, PD/PEACE Global Events Coordinator, “It was incredible to see the collaboration between pastors and organizations. On the last day of the conference, people stood and talked about what steps they are taking in their commitment to engage the unengaged.”

Event highlights included insight from keynote speakers Francis Chan, Paul Eshleman, David Garrison, and Pastor Rick. Encouraging news and statistics were shared on progress made since…

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As an ambassador for the Purpose Driven paradigm, Pastor Gary Groves of Orchard Community Church in Gorham, Maine, says the five purposes have been part of his DNA since he accepted the Lord in 1997. After attending a service at Saddleback Church, he accepted Christ and dedicated the rest of his life to ministry.

In an effort to understand the foundations, he completed Saddleback’s membership and next steps classes (Classes 101, 201, and 301), and eventually moved from Southern California to Maine. As a grounded follower, he began focusing on the biblical purposes and implementing the strategies into all areas of his life. Over a decade later, God called Gary to plant a church.

“He gave me a vision to bring people in, train them, and send them out,” says Gary. “So when we planted the church in 2011, no one else at that point was really practicing the Purpose Driven principles. I felt in my heart that I wanted to build up the church from within, and I knew it would be a long process.”

While many viewed the approach as unconventional, Gary was committed to growing a healthy church based…

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