While many denominations are busy closing churches, Gary Rohrmayer’s Converge Midamerica is working hard to plant them. Sure, cultural apathy, the advent of secularism, and the Great Recession have slowed things down – but the passion is still there – and is essential as ever to building strong congregations.
Rooted in the pietistic heritage of Swedish Baptists, Gary’s tradition brings to the body an emphasis on prayer and conviction to the calling and vision Jesus gives those who seek to serve in His name.
In this interview, Gary talks about this missional network of Gospel-centered churches that continues to expand amidst a wave of challenges.
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Converge America has planted 500 churches in the last 20 years – not megachurhes – but congregations that average around 140 people on a Sunday. It’s a quiet, but steady movement aimed at building the body of Christ by bringing people into Christian community. Here are my notes from the interview.
New Churches are Vibrant Churches
If a church has been around for 10 years or more, Gary says it takes 89 people to reach one new person for Christ. However, if the church is 3 years old or younger, it takes just 3 people to reach one person for Christ.
Have a Burden
Gary says that’s the most important criteria for a church planter: to possess a sense of love and brokeness for the community one is endeavoring to serve.
Look Where God is Moving
Gary’s church planting criteria is to use demographics and prayer to become aware of where the Spirit seems to be leading – then to look for the leaders being raised up to do the work.
About Gary Rohrmayer
Gary Rohrmayer is President and District Executive Minister of Converge Church MidAmerica. When he was 27 years old he graduated from bible college armed with nothing but a passion for evangelism and loads of inexperienced. He searched for a church planting network that I could connect with both relationally and theologically. This search led me to a group of leaders that today is know as Converge Worldwide. Converge offered a perfect balance of resourcing, encouragement and opportunity. That was twenty years ago and over 80 churches later that he helped start at some level. I would never be where I am today if it wasn’t for Converge.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest Episcopal Seminary in the U.S., forming men and women for leadership in the church. In addition to the MDiv, Anglican Studies and DMin degrees are their Masters of Arts degrees with a fous on Theological Studies, Christian Formation, Religion & Culture, and Biblical Interpretation. Check them out at vts.edu.