Letter to the Chruch in Fort Thomas, KY – Crawford Family Update

This is a letter that I wrote to a Church that we have been working alongside. Our family was out there for 3 months, about a year ago, to go through some discipleship training. It was a time of reflection that I wanted to share. picture-8

To our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Fort Thomas:
I’ve been meaning to write this letter for a while but am just now sitting
down to reflect on God’s faithfulness for the last year and put it into
written words.

In November of 07 we left Fort Thomas, KY after going through the Story Formed
Life discipleship process, attending your gatherings and living in your
community for 10 weeks. At this time we were partnering with Colin and Grace
(Jones) and our immediate question was two fold: How do we begin to make
disciples in the Seattle area and how do we live life as part of a healthy body.
Many of our questions and prayers were answered when the Pryors and Knowltons
announced that they would be coming out for 10 weeks to assist us in answering
these questions. While out here we started our first Story Formed Life, began
gathering as prescribed in I Corinthians 14, and began discussing God’s
plans unifying the church under one mission.

Since then, we have had 2 additional families decide that they would like to
partner with us in the Purpose of the Discipleship Training Center. These 2
couples, the Diffners and the Rubatinos, have also been an integral part of our
body gatherings.

Here is a breakdown of the more specific blessings and struggles that we have
encountered.

Discipleship: We are currently taking our third group of people through the
Story Formed Life. This has been a valuable tool for us and has challenged us
and others to grow in our faith in who God is and what He is doing. Our current
class has more than 20 people but I am more excited about the fact that these 20
people represent more than 10 different churches. Our biggest struggles have
been in understanding how to get further training beyond. We are also constantly
emphasizing the need for leaders who are called to disciple within their own
networks.

Body Life: We have been trying to understand what it means to be the local body
of Christ. We are now participating in a weekly gathering. Our biggest struggles
have been in feeling the void from not having all of the giftings or body parts
present.  We have also struggled to understand what it means to hear, submit,
and follow the Holy Spirit as individuals and in the context of a body. As an
immature body, we also lack elders; we expect and hope to grow in
maturity as a fellowship.

Expansion: Most recently, we have been impressed with the vision that God has
given us to unify the many fractured churches and body parts that currently
exist in the Seattle area. There have been many blessings as we have partnered
with Pastors and members from many different bodies to unify under the one
mission of the church. There has also been a significant amount of frustration
as we have encountered barriers of people and leaders who segregate themselves
based upon other affiliations. Our hope for ourselves is that who we are and how
we act works as a unifying rather than a further
segregating,force for the gospel

God has been so faithful to us. His provision and grace stretch beyond our
imagination and have been present in every step that we have taken. We know that
this will not only continue but will increase as we grow in our dependence of
Him as the true Giver of Life. In the immediate future we are writing to you
asking for your prayers in our ministry. We are also asking that in your
maturity you would continue to send us Apostles, Teachers, Prophets, Pastors
& Evangelists so that we could continue to grow to the fullness of Christ.
Right now we are working on assisting disciples in Tacoma and Portland as they
look to further God’s Kingdom through discipleship and the body. Continue on
in the mission to which God has called you. The impact of your ministry has been
felt very strongly here in Seattle and we are constantly thanking God for you
and your obedience to your calling.

This winter we plan on coming out to celebrate with you during the holiday
season. Our goals will be to tell you stories of God’s faithfulness in
Seattle and hear what God has been doing in your community. We look forward to
connecting with as many of you as possible so that we can become strengthened
and sharpened in our service to the King!

Ben Crawford

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