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We’re happy to share that this morning Nate became a U.S. Citizen. He was sworn in by a federal district judge in Grand Rapids and is now a true blue American. It marked the end of a long, drawn out process – from Grand Rapids, Albuquerque, Detroit, Chicago, and back to Grand Rapids. We made it! God walked us through all the paperwork and we made it! Now if he could only stop saying sorry (sore-ry) all funny! 🙂

Love to you all!

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May 14, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

As we wrap up spring and enter into summer we are blessed to share so many changes in our lives with you. These last two months have been exciting and very full. They began in March as we received unanimous approval from the Elders at Eastern Hills Community Church of Aurora, CO for our one-year residency. This residency period will help us establish a strong foundation for the church plant. We will work to acculturate into the local culture, learn from Eastern Hills and how they do missional ministry, begin to develop a core group who will partner with us in launching, and identify a particular neighborhood for this new church.

We are now officially endorsed by Home Missions of the Christian Reformed Church. This endorsement is a huge answer to prayer as it provides not only financial support, but also to develop invaluable relationships with established CRC planters.

We concluded our time in Albuquerque on Easter Sunday with a wonderful celebration of three baptisms. Through our time in New Mexico God blessed us with all kinds of learning opportunities and we are happy to report that Chelwood CRC is on tract to call a full-time minister. God is good!

As April continued we spent some relaxed time with family as we contacted various churches throughout Michigan and the Chicagoland area. We also attended Exponential, the national new church conference in Orlando, FL with over 60 CRC people. This conference gave us a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from some of the great minds in the church-planting world. We were encouraged as we joined 3000+ planters from all types of denominations to learn more about how God is working throughout North America.

Finally we have another blessing to share with you. We are pregnant and expecting our first child! As we write this Sam is 11+ weeks pregnant and doing well. We are excited at this new blessing in our lives and look forward to how God will shape us in parenthood.

As far as what comes next, we are moving to Denver the last week of May and we being working June 1 at Eastern Hills. We thank you for all of your prayers and support leading up to this point. We believe that through your prayers, God has guided each step in our journey to Denver. God honors preemptive prayers. We also ask that you continue to hold us in prayer as we settle into a new city, look forward to a new baby, and begin our work on God’s new church.

We thank you for your financial support as well. Through your faithful giving, through Home Missions, Classis, and a couple of key churches we’ve already raised just under $60,000. This is a testimony to God’s faithfulness! We also acknowledge that we still have a significant amount to raise, nearly $40,000. Below you will find a breakdown as to how the finances are working out. We ask that you continue to support us as we begin this process of planting. God is working through your faithful giving.

Supporters Amount Raised
Family and Friends $23,000
Home Missions $25,000
Supporting Churches $8,000
Classis Rocky Mountain $2,500
Total Amount Needed $96,000
Total Amount Raised $58,500
Total Amount Yet Needed $37,500

We hope that as we’ve shared how God continues to lead us, you too are encouraged to follow more faithfully after him. For he is a God that calls us all on a journey. May you walk closely with him.

Blessings,

Nate and Samantha DeJong McCarron

P.S. Donations are now being accepted by Eastern Hills Community Church. Please make a notation that your gift is for “Nate and Sam.”

Eastern Hills Community Church

25511 E. Smoky Hill Rd.

Aurora, CO 80016


As we continue to read about the ins and outs of planting we came across some encouraging statistics concerning church planting in the book Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters become Movement Makers by Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird. It is an awesome book that has encouraged us and we recommend it to anyone interested in the growth of Christ’s bride.

We thought we’d share some of those encouraging stats with you:

  • If you want to grow your church plant a new one – “A study of church-sponsoring churches showed the typical sponsor fared quite well from the experience. Worship attendance increased 22% for five years after sponsorship of the church plant. Financial giving to the local church likewise increased 48% over that same period, and designated gifts such as towards foreign missions giving increased 77%.” – pg. 49
  • Most Church Plants Survive – “In one study of churches in ten denominations, two years after being started, 92% of new churches still exist. After three years, 81% still exist. After four years, 68% still exist.” – pg. 101
  • New Churches Do Grow – “At the one year mark, average attendance of a new church is forty-one people. At the two-year mark, it’s fifty-six. At the three-year mark, it’s seventy-three. At the four-year mark, it’s eighty-four.” – pg. 101
  • Church Plants can become Self-Sufficient Quickly – “A full 30% of new churches attain self-sufficiency in the first year, 40% in the second, 54% in year three, 62% in year four, and 70% attain it by year five. It is a long-held principle that churches must become self-sufficient in order to have long-term survivability.” – pg. 101
  • The Power of Church Multiplication – “If a church of twenty people plants just one church of twenty each year, and if each of those likewise follow the cycle of planting on church per year, then in twenty years the original church would have multiplied into to more than ten million people. That’s the power of multiplication. ” – pg. 202

Kind of surprising aren’t they? We’ve heard so much to contradict these stats – our church can’t afford to plant –  only 1 in 5 church plants survive – you’ll never be self-sufficient as a church plant – etc… While these are rumors, here are the facts! Church planting isn’t risky business – in fact church planting isn’t only the best way to evangelize, but it may also prove to be the best way to revitalize our dwindling sanctuaries, and on top of it all – it’s do-able. We can plant churches. We should plant churches. We must plant churches.

For more on Ed Stetzer and his work see – www.EdStetzer.com


Alright here are a couple of very exciting updates:

  1. We are happy to announce that we are officially endorsed by Home Missions of the Christian Reformed Church! We’ve worked through the system – assessments and paperwork and we have been approved to receive support through HM both financial and otherwise. This is a huge answer to prayer and a great encouragement as we begin this process of planting a church in the greater Denver Metro Area.
  2. We wrapped up our time in Albuquerque, NM with a huge celebration on Easter Sunday. We had the honor of witnessing three baptisms (two adult males and a two year-old girl). It was beautiful seeing how God works in our lives as he pulls us close. We’ve spent the last month or so enjoying time with friends and family as we continue to fundraise. We look forward to starting in Denver on June 1.
  3. Finally, we are also so excited to say that we are pregnant!! God has blessed us with an unexpected gift as Sam is now 11+ weeks pregnant with a little one. We are excited and scared at the idea of moving, planting, and parenting, and yet we trust that God is at work in it all. We look forward to being extra thankful this Thanksgiving as we celebrate the birth of our first child!

So as you can tell – we are excited! We are excited to live in service to a God who blesses us, his children. We pray that you too may share in our joy. Please hold us in prayer and join us as we work to grow God’s kingdom.


Hi Everyone,

Well we’re happy to say that we’re back from Exponential and that it was a great experience! We learned an awful lot from so many of the great minds in church planting, including people like: Alan Hirsch, Ed Stetzer, Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. We had some time to really dig into what God is calling us to do – a truly exciting opportunity!

One of the key challenges we left with is the fact that as we look to plant a church we are not simply called to plant one singular body, but as Christians called to grow God’s kingdom in our world, we are called to plant a church that will in turn plant churches. We are called to plant a reproducing church. This challenge excites us and scares us – a healthy combination. Again and again presenters challenged us with this goal.

For a sign of a mature church is it’s offspring. Healthy churches plant more churches. We are not called to plant a single tree, but an orchard that reclaims God’s world.

Ask yourself – Is my church reproducing? Are we growing new leaders? Are we dedicating funds for new ministries?

One key when thinking about all of this is whether or not you and your church are practicing addition or multiplication. If you hope to reach the greatest number of people for the kingdom of God addition simply won’t cut it. In fact addition, focusing on adding people to your current congregation, grows slowly. While multiplication, adding church upon church creates growth at an exponential rate that reaches into the far most corners of God’s world.

So as we are challenged, may you too be challenged. As you look to share the good news of the gospel, as you partner with God in growing his kingdom here on earth, may you look to practice multiplication rather than addition. May you look to mature and reproduce. May we together plant an orchard – to the glory of our God!

May 2010
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