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The Big Announcement

I've accepted an invitation to return home to Baltimore, MD and start a new church. But that's not the reason I'm going. I'm returning home to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire city and to have a front row seat as God flips that place upside down!

Early this year I was asked by some friends at our national convention to pray over an opportunity to return to Baltimore to plant a church in my hometown. Initially I wasn't sold on the idea. My family has a life here. We love our friends, the rich culture here and the amazing region in which we live. I did have a sense that God was up to something but I wasn't sure.

I thought I had good reasons. I mean c'mon... Virginia Beach is constantly named one of the best places to live! This year "BestLife" named Virginia Beach, VA as the second best place to raise a family -- second to Honolulu, HI which puts it in pretty good company for a young family like ours. (My hometown of Baltimore ranked a distant 72nd but was surprisingly above our first ministry home of Corpus Christi, TX.) Because of some of these :: cough:: selfish ::cough:: reasons I wanted to continue working towards what God called me to here in Virginia Beach. God had other plans and I began to see them.

The longer I prayed over this opportunity the more it became clear that this was God moving us into position to accomplish that vision he had birthed in my heart years ago. Let me rewind: For many years after leaving Baltimore I would return home only to have a sinking feeling in my stomach everywhere I went. About 3 years ago however I was driving south on I-83 into Baltimore City. It is a winding road that takes you into downtown. There is an area where the road seems to open up and you can see what appears to be the entire city in front of you. Something happened this time. Instead of feeling depressed about the city I had a sense of responsibility. A sense of confidence. I silently asked God why I felt different and He seemed to be saying "Tally, I've prepared you. You're ready. You're going to be part of the solution."

Kristy and I spent months in prayer and conversation. We sought advice, sought prayer and sought counsel. It was so tough to consider stepping away from the life we've built here in Virginia but it became painfully obvious that God was at work in our lives. It seems like once that realization set in God broke my heart even more for the city. It's been so obvious that God is in this. He's brought encouragement from everywhere! We've already started lining up some fantastic partner churches and we have some talented people already committed to move to Maryland with us to be apart of this effort. I'm so excited about what God is about to do in and through us.

Introducing: Captivate Christian Church


Captivate: to capture the attention with irresistible appeal.

God is a captivating God and His message is a captivating message. We're headed to Baltimore to share that message with the city.

Over the next days and weeks I'll cast more of our vision and share more about our focus area here. I have to tell you though... the vision includes YOU! Its our desire to see a network of friends from the "blog world" turn into actual hands and feet to bring the gospel to the people of the "real world". We want to partner with you as an individual, your small group and your church. We are building a network of people who will pray for us and work with us to see Baltimore turned upside down!

I'm so excited about what God is doing and I want you to be part of it. Please take a moment to connect with us in the following 4 ways.

1. Check out TheBaltimoreProject.com. You can download a PDF which tells you a little more of the plan. I'd love it if you also click "contact us" and give our team some encouraging words. Lastly on this site you can contribute financially to what we're doing.

2. Follow us on Twitter. We're going to Twitter prayer requests and updates along the way. We really would love to get hundreds of Christians around the country praying for us when we send out tweets. Our team will keep up with you too. Feel free to direct message us down the road when we can pray for you! Follow us here: http://twitter.com/captivatechurch

3. Become friends on Facebook. We've created a presence on Facebook. We'd love to have you add us as a friend to get the latest news and notes. Click the link above or search for "Captivate Church"

4. Spread the word! Leverage your voice ::cough:: and your blog ::cough:: and invite others to join you in getting behind our effort to go to one of America's toughest cities with the gospel. This is so much bigger than any of us. We're not interested in throwing up a vinyl sign and getting 100 people in a room. We're headed to Baltimore to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire city. I'll detail some of the ways we plan to do just that in the weeks and months ahead.

PRAYER REQUESTS

- Pray for my family. My wife and I are expecting our daughter to be born in mid-January. We have to find a home around Baltimore soon. We have to sell or lease our home here also. As you can imagine, the next few months will be CRAZY for us. The timing is nuts but we're excited.

- Please pray for the families moving to Baltimore. I'm overwhelmed with humility that these families would give up their current comforts and move to be a part of this vision. I'm so pumped to have these amazing people join us.

- Pray for one particular family that is praying about coming. It would be a serious faith-step for them as well. I'm honored that they are even considering it.

- Pray for more people to join us.
We're praying for some people who 'get it' and who want to be apart of something God-sized. These people will move to the Baltimore area, get jobs, make friends and help build a church that initially looks and smells a lot like our culture. If you're interested, get in touch with me. We'll talk and pray through it together.

- Pray for financial partners.
This is my least favorite part of planting but a reality to planting a church. We have a million dollar vision so we're seeking God for a strong fund raising effort. Please ask God to put it on the hearts and minds of individuals, small groups, churches and organizations to get behind our church start. We're counting our cost and seeking God. He's given us the vision and now is the time we seek out the provision.

- Pray for friends in the area. We are praying for like-minded friends God would send our way who live in Baltimore but aren't plugged into a church that's reaching the culture.

- Pray for favor among the locals. All of our team members will be expected to get engaged with the community. Pray that God would grant us favor with people on a regular basis. We have three diseases we're focusing on: Spiritual Darkness, Generational Apathy and Generational Poverty. These areas will have us interacting with people over some common causes and we want to be great neighbors and friends in our community.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, October 20, 2008

6 Comments:

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Happy Mommy said...

I am very excited for you all!
And we will be praying for your family!

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger mattmo2 said...

Tally I'm so pumped for you and your family! God is going to do great things! Welcome to the north! :)

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger Terrace Crawford said...

Tally, I'm excited for you bro. Hate to see you leave Va Beach, of course. This has been long time coming and you've been faithful and so patient. I know God has an incredible work for you in Baltimore.

/TC/

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I couldn't be more excited for you, Tally. It seems so clear that God is in this. [and the graphics really help give a feel for this new church!]

We will be praying for you guys

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger JC said...

From someone who has watched your blog from a distance, I admire the step you and yours are taking.

I'll be sending up some West Texas prayers for the adventure, and I hope you'll keep us all updated on the journey.

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger lincolnlogsandlegos said...

Awesome! Hate to lose you in the Hampton Roads area, but know there is a great need in Baltimore and I've watched as God has shaped your heart for what He wants to do there.

 

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