Brooks Lokey asked the Missio Church team (who has recently departed from Ethos Church, heading to Seattle, Washington) a few questions about their journey to Nashville, and on to Seattle. Read on to find out more about Jared King's story...
When did you come to Nashville and why?
In September, 2012. My wife and I wanted to plant churches in London. We came to Nashville to continue to develop and learn more about church planting before going to plant a church.
How did you get connected to Ethos? When did you start working or volunteering with Ethos, and what did that look like?
We were living in Washington D.C. We were driving through Nashville and contacted Dave about staying with he and Sydney while we were in town. Dave shared the vision of Ethos and his vision for church planting. I asked about coming to Nashville to learn from Ethos. Dave said we could come, but at the time there was no formal training process in place. Shortly thereafter, Onward started as that formal training process to help train leaders in church planting. We moved here with no jobs and found an apartment just five days before we moved here. We didn’t know anyone, but we knew we wanted to be here. Jobs were a secondary motive. I found a job on Craigslist, and it all just happened as we went. We really didn’t have a time frame or structure for what we were doing.
What did you see God teaching you in your time in Nashville and through your ministry at Ethos?
We saw just how big God’s vision can be for cities and churches. We came in with a very narrow understanding of who God was and what he wanted to accomplish through groups of people, and that He wants to transform entire cities.
The size of Ethos, or of any church, does not necessarily correlate to the size of God’s vision for that church. God can do so much with as many or as little people as He chooses.
We learned how to participate in the bigness of God’s vision. We’re a piece of that vision, but we also have to see beyond us, beyond that little piece; that our little piece plays into the bigger story of how God can transform large numbers of people.
What’s the story behind Seattle – When did you hear the call? Why Seattle? How were you positive it was the Lord calling you?
We took a survey trip to England in January, 2013. It became clear that God was closing doors in London where we originally wanted to plant. This was painful, but also good. So we then spent a year knowing we were supposed to plant churches, but not knowing where. Our hearts first started being pulled towards the northwest when some of my family finally started expressing some openness to God and who Jesus is. Once we started thinking about the northwest, Seattle popped into our minds. When we started thinking about Seattle, we really felt a lot of emotions pulling us there. The same doors that had been closing for us in London started opening for us in Seattle. People started giving us their resources and their time to hear and support our idea. People that we know and respect were telling us how much we were needed there.
We felt like we knew it was the Lord calling us there through the affirmation of God’s people. We were also looking for God’s hand to point us in that direction. We felt like God was definitely preparing the way for us to be in Seattle. He started giving us a team, a vision, contacts, resources, and the personality of the city fit ours.
What do you hope to see God do in Seattle through you, through this church?
We hope to see God begin to shape and change the future of churches across the country through what He does in Seattle. This country has taken steps away from Christianity, and a lot of that has been led by the northwest and Seattle. There are no Churches of Christ in Seattle. We want to see what it looks like to be the people of God in an area where that idea is taboo.
What fears or insufficiencies have you overcome to get you to this point? How has God shown himself to you through this/shown his sufficiency in the face of your weakness?
I have a huge fear of failing. What if we move out here and try this and it fails? So many people are investing their time and energy into this, and I’m leading people into potential failure.
I love how God has spoken into that and said that I (Jared) am not the one leading. It is not because of me that people have invested their time. It’s because they believe in a very real and living Jesus that has the ability to transform lives. I am a participant in God’s work, not the leader. We have been very conscious to try to see and go where God is leading. If we don’t see Him walking before us, we won’t go. The fear that it’s all on me is alleviated when I realize that it’s not about me. If it’s ever about me, it’s already failed. As I have released that fear to be something I may not be, I have seen God go ahead, and the things that have been built are because God is doing it. The more I let go, the more I see God taking control.
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