March 8, 2018 | Andrew Hurst
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) hosted the Church Multiplication Network’s (CMN) Start Conference on February 27 and 28.
CMN is the official church planting arm of the U.S. Assemblies of God, dedicated to planting healthy, Spirit-empowered churches in every community in the United States. CMN Start is specifically designed to empower college students, regardless of major, to administer their unique gifts and callings to serve a new church.
Dr. Mike Clarensau, Dean of Bible and Church Ministries, believes that student engagement for this past conference was exceptional. “Our team was excited to see students engage not only our speakers, but the challenges and opportunities they presented,” he said. “This year, especially, we felt that students exhibited a deeper more intentional connection with the idea of church planting.”
The event included chapel services with guest speakers and church planters, JJ Vasquez and Travis Jones. Students also had the opportunity to sit down with church planters over lunch to ask any questions they had over the process of church planting.
“We intend to continue every effort to connect our students to these kind of leaders,” says Clarensau. “Certainly the Conference, but we will look for ways to participate with whatever strategies the CMN team develop to help students find their futures.”
The conference kicked off with a word from JJ Vasquez. Pastor JJ and wife Liz, were led to plant a church called Journey in the heart of Winter Park, Florida, in 2014. Vasquez is also the best selling author of the book, “Hello God.”
On Wednesday, Travis Jones shared how God called him and his wife to plant a church in Richmond, Virginia. After 10 years of full-time ministry, Jones and his wife felt challenged to accept this call God has placed on their lives. Yet, after trusting in the Lord and taking on this new role, their ministry and church continue to be blessed and experience growth.
CMN has been reaching out to Assemblies of God universities to promote church planting for a number of years including SAGU. SAGU has had numerous graduates that have gone on to be successful church planters. Preston Ulmer, Development Coordinator for CMN, said that more than a dozen SAGU alumni have relocated to help him with his church in Denver.
Jeremiah Feight, SAGU alumnus & church planter in Jackson, Wyoming, was one of the conference speakers during last year’s START conference. Feight told students that his journey in church planting was a direct result of God calling him into this ministry during the START Conference as a student at SAGU.
Clarensau says that stories such as Feight’s and ongoing stories of students being written right now motivate and excite him as CMN continues to move forward with their mission.
To learn more about the Church Multiplication Network, click here.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu