I started Mission Glue for one reason: to help church planters plant healthy reproducing churches. One way to do that is to hear from practitioners. I want to hear from church planters who are actually planting churches. You may not have heard of them but they have learned a ton and can teach us much.
I recently had the privilege of talking to Jon Peacock, Lead Planter of Mission Church in Roselle, Illinois about his plant.
I met Jon as he and Tommy Bowman, one of the founding leaders of Restore, began to take seriously God’s call for them to plant a church together in their hometown of Roselle, Illinois. Jon and Tommy have been lifelong friends and had long ago dreamed about planting a church together. While it was hard to see Tommy go, it was clear that God was up to something big by calling these two to mission.
Before planting a church, Jon spent several years on staff at a little church in the suburbs of Chicago called Willow Creek. When it became clear that God was calling Jon to plant a church he sought coaching and guidance. Jon did a leadership residency at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois to learn first-hand about church planting and began building a team around him. Despite all of his experience and gifting, he is teachable and eager to learn.
Mission Church launched in October of 2011 and they have been building the Kingdom in the “10” ever since. (The 10 is a grouping of western Chicago suburbs that Mission is specifically called to reach with the gospel.)
I am grateful for Jon. He is a great communicator and has a deep love for his community. He has a passion for Jesus and longs to see a new awakening in the communities of the 10 that inspires all of us around him. I am humbled by the opportunity to interview him for Mission Glue. I know we will all be inspired and encouraged by his insights.
When did Jesus become real for you?
At the end of college in 2001.
Why are you a church planter?
It’s the single most effective strategy to reach people who no one is reaching. I’m an evangelist to my core, and am wired up as an entrepreneur so planting was a good route. I think 🙂
What circumstances led you to believe God was calling you to plant a church?
It began with a series of questions. What if the Church was FOR the neighborhood, what if the church was simple, what if the church was inclusive…..what if churches in my city united w a single vision to see a city-wide awakening?!
Where is your 3rd place?
Starbucks and the softball field
Describe the cultural ethos you hope to create.
An irreligious passionate pursuit of Jesus.
What difference will your church plant make in the community?
It has become good news to our hood….the Kingdom is becoming more tangible.
How are you developing people? Staff, volunteers, launch team?
I’m not. I’m hoping Restore will just keep sending me great leaders…way easier that way! We are choosing to invest in the whole person. This passion for holistic development is friggin hard but so worth it. I want leaders that can lead for the long haul because they’ve done the hard work of uncovering their brokenness and shadow missions. This is very importing to what we long to see.
What have your learned about raising funds for your project that can help the rest of us?
It’s harder than I imagined, requires more faith than anticipated, however is more fulfilling and transformative than I could have ever hoped. Besides that its plain and simple something you MUST become passionate about. You cannot outsource this one!!
How is your family part of your church planting adventure?
They’re not. Kidding, they are a huge part. My wife meets w a ton of women in our church and leads a small group with me. Our kids just keep us up at night and make leading a church really hard. But, after praying about it, we’ve decided to keep them. Our two little girls bring us a ton of joy and have given us many missional opportunities in the community.
What is/was the great challenge you faced planting your church and how did you overcome it?
How to manage energy. Now it’s how to be future focused while remaining pastorally present. Super difficult.
Who inspires you and why?
My wife. She’s amazing. Second to her are the teachers within our community. They are my heroes.
How are you caring for yourself while planting?
I have 5 key things that fill me up. I make sure and have those 5 things in my calendar before anything else. What are the 5? Well…if I told you then I’d have to kill you.
Do you have a plan for planting more churches/campuses etc. What is it?
Yes, I dream of 3 fully functioning Mission Church Neighborhood churches by 2020 and 400 autonomous churches planted by 2040. More important to me than that is ONE awakening within the 10 in my lifetime.
If you could ask a church planter you don’t know one question, what would it be?
Why are you in such a hurry to launch?
What is your favorite band and why?
Rubber. Love rubber bands.
You can keep up with all that’s going on at Mission Church. Will you do me a favor and pray for Jon and the Mission Church team today.
Are you planting a church or missional community? I’d love to talk to you about it! Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. If you dig the content of Mission Glue you can subscribe here.