If you are taking the time to read this post, I assume you have enjoyed some level of friendship with Elizabeth and me. You probably either spend time in our home on a regular basis, or we’ve experienced the joy of serving you or with you during the last 20 years of ministry, or you are our precious family.
Most of you likely know that both Elizabeth and I are thrilled and humbled to be ministering in the West Side of Chicago in various ways, including offering degreed, certified biblical counseling and counseling training (her), and pastoral counseling (me), and I enjoy the blessing of prayerfully leading a newly planted church.
You also likely know we’ve uniquely committed to investing in these ways free of charge among the incredible people God has entrusted to us, because we feel this is most appropriate to our neighborhood context–where there is both an abundance of poverty and an abundance of hurt and distrust fueled by the extortion of religion here in the past. Neither she nor I draw any sort of income from the various ministries in which we engage.
What many of you may not know, is in order to remain committed to this life of “presenting the gospel free of charge” (1 Corinthians 9:18), I do work two regular jobs throughout the week.
For one of these jobs, I am employed as the Director of Operations for a national non-profit, which aims to assess, train, resource and network healthy church planters/pastors, their wives, and their churches for the purpose of spreading a passion for the supremacy of God. This is Treasuring Christ Together church planting Network (TCTN). You may read more about this great network, in the summary below this message.
My salary at TCTN is split between direct pay from the organization, and gifts received from everyday ordinary people who cheerfully donate to TCTN to see its vision carried out. Some of you may already be a part of this team of donors. Thank you!
As we are nearing year-end, many people desire to find a good cause to support with their generosity. And many times, friends or counselees will ask Elizabeth or me if they can give us a gift for the work that we do.
By giving gifts to TCTN (not us), you have the unique opportunity to achieve both of these aims if God has blessed you with both the means and the desire.
I’d like to encourage you to consider financially supporting Treasuring Christ Together Network. You can give a gift today or even sign up for recurring giving. The links on this page will take you to a secure TCTN portal.
Your gifts will
- directly empower Elizabeth and me to continue ministering in our community pro bono because my employment will continue and
- strengthen the network as it strengthens pastors and planters across the nation.
This is a very unique partnership and opportunity in that you are fueling multiple aims with one give.
So, thank you for reading, and if you have any questions at all, I’d love to discuss them with you.
And thank you for your love, your consideration, and your generosity. I know there are many great and worthy causes to empower with your resources, and I’m honored that you would entrust us with your own.
Craig & Elizabeth
Photography Compliments of: Laura M Priestley
Who is TCTN?
Treasuring Christ Together Network is an association of church planting churches originally birthed out of the ministry of Pastor John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church, but now encompasses over 25 like-minded planters and churches across the country.
Our mission is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God through church planting. You can get to know us a little better by visiting our website or reviewing our Twitter or InstaGram feeds, which depict many of our values.
The network collects membership funds from member churches to cover all other operating expenses, and a percentage of my salary. Your gifts directly apply to the percentage of my salary which is not covered by the network.
Below are some of the highlights from initiatives completed in 2018.
January National Training
Four seminars were presented at the 2018 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors + Church Leaders within the Church Planting & Churches Under 500 tracks. Sessions included
- Spirit-Empowered Change
- Spirit-Empowered Perseverance
- Spirit-Empowered Gospel Community
- Spirit-Empowered Multi-Ethnic Planting
Global Church Planting
Reach All Nations church planting training center in India was supported with both funds and training visits from stateside TCT Pastors.
40 Pastors & 12 Pastors Wives received coordinated monthly coaching via video chat.
The Annual Pastors & Wives Retreat served 81 pastors/planters & wives with both physical and spiritual rest and renewal.
- 2 Pastoral Assessments & 1 Church Planter Assessment were completed in April in Memphis for church planting churches in Granville, NY, Bowling Green, KY, and Olive Branch, MS.
- 4 Church Planter Assessments were completed in June in Minneapolis for churches to be planted in Cameroon, West Africa, Southern and Central MN, and a Native American enclave in the St Paul area.
- 1 Church Planter Assessment was completed in July in DC for a church to be planted in King George, VA.