Sitting in the congregation…

By Jeremy Graham, King’s Cross Church

It’s a Sunday morning at King’s Cross and I’m sitting in the congregation with my family. Our Artizo apprentice, Jeremy Derksen, is preaching on John 4:1-30, and I’m taking notes. When my wife Kim and I embarked on this church planting adventure, an experienced planter joked to us, “You might not sit together in church again for years!” We’re one year in and I’m not in the pulpit every Sunday. How did we get to this point? We committed to becoming a training church.

Becoming a training church doesn’t happen by accident! It takes a deliberate decision to prioritize mentorship over maximum efficiency, investing over instant results. Jeremy Derksen arrived in Artizo with a teaching background and a natural gift for public speaking and relational connection. But preaching takes practice. You need to get your “reps” in, with patient guidance from trainers during preparation and constructive feedback afterwards. Would it sometimes be easier in the short run for the pastor to just do all the preaching rather than work with an apprentice? Of course. However, becoming a training church is choosing to serve and support the next generation of men and women for the sake of spreading the gospel and growing the Church.

As we plant King’s Cross, we want to grow into a congregation that is truly the “priesthood of all believers.” This means participating in God’s mission to “go and make disciples” as the body of Christ made up of many different giftings and personalities. This means training and encouraging lay leaders and apprentices rather than promoting a staff-driven ministry. It’s creating a culture of constructing rather than consuming; joyfully worshipping Jesus Christ; loving and serving one another.

But the stakes are high in a start-up, and it’s tempting to want to trot out your so-called “top line” Sunday after Sunday in order to impress newcomers and grow your sphere of influence. Becoming a training church is a proactive counter to this temptation. It’s actively committing to Paul’s model of ministry in the Corinthian church:

2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:2-5)

It’s ten minutes after the service and I’m holding a cup of coffee. I’m talking about Jeremy’s sermon with a member of his community group. “That was great.” she says, “I like how he’s got a different style from you. I hear the gospel in a different way from different voices.” She’s right. It’s not about the perfect preacher or the perfect delivery; it’s about prioritizing the patient and prayerful work of training new leaders to rely on the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s word in their weakness. Slowly, King’s Cross is becoming a training church; and we’re doing it with the help of Artizo.

Thank you for all you have enabled us to do this year.

King’s Cross photos