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Dr. McKay Caston
(678) 651-5557 Dahlonega, Georgia, is a vibrant and historic college town nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains sixty-five miles north of downtown Atlanta. Located in the heart of the Georgia Wine Country, it is a community that is rich in history, education, the arts, tourism, recreation and natural beauty. Numerous factors stand out as to why this is a strategic and important place for a new, gospel-centered church. First, Dahlonega has been chosen because of its recent and projected population growth. Second, it is an influential university community that is equipping future leaders in medicine, education, business, art, and the military. Third, it is home to one of the six major military colleges in the Unites States as well as an important Army Ranger training battalion. Fourth, it is a growing center for both performing and visual arts. Fifth, opportunities abound for compassion ministry to the poor. Sixth, its popularity as a tourist destination. In excess of a million people visit Dahlonega annually. Seventh, its location makes it ideal for establishing a study and retreat center that could serve the entire Metro Atlanta region as a resource for gospel-centered renewal. OUR UNIFYING VISION: “To glorify God by helping people come alive to the beauty, wonder & power of the gospel.” We agree with Dr. Tim Keller, who says, “The gospel is not just the ʻA-B-Cʼ but the ʻA to Zʼ of the Christian life. The gospel is not just the way to enter the kingdom, but is the way to address every problem and... to grow at every step.” 1 As a result, spiritual vitality that leads to personal, family, and cultural renewal hinges on the Spirit bringing the gospel alive in our hearts through faith. OUR CORE COMMITMENTS: We hope to accomplish this vision by emphasizing three guiding, core commitments: ๏ PERVASIVE GRACE We want the radical message of grace to be the central theme that permeates everything about the church, from teaching, to worship, to prayer, to discipleship, to vocation, to marriage, to parenting, to leadership, to stewardship, to mission, etc. In order to see this become reality, we continually must distinguish the gospel from religion. AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY As an implication of the gospel, we want to cultivate a community that promotes authenticity and vulnerability. We long for a grace-saturated atmosphere that communicates to people, “This is a safe place to be real. We are all broken, sinful people who desperately need Jesus.”
Timothy J. Keller and J. Allen Thompson, Church Planter Manual (New York: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2002)., p. 37.
ORGANIC MISSION We will encourage all the folks in the church to see themselves as missionaries, word and deed ambassadors of the gospel living as “salt and light” in the context of their organic spheres of influence. Additionally, whoever teaches will assume there are non-Christians in attendance, and will speak in a way that addresses their questions, fears, and doubts in language that they can understand.
PARTNERSHIP & INVESTMENT In order to see the dream become a reality, we need to develop three significant partnerships: 1) We need financial partners. Perimeter Church graciously is allowing us to raise $200,000 from within the church to help provide the funding necessary to cover anticipated expenses through our third year. We are thankful to report that $130,000 of that total has already been pledged, leaving only $70,000 left to be raised from within Perimeter! Below is a possible donor scenario that would enable us to accomplish our financial goal.
1 partner @ 8,000/yr. for 3 years =
2 partners @ 3,000/yr. for 3 years ($250/month) = 18,000 2 partners @ 1,500/yr. for 3 years ($125/month) = 3 partners @ 1,000/yr. for 3 years ($83/month) = 3 partners @ 600/yr. for 3 years ($50/month) = 5 partners @ 300/yr. for 3 years ($25/month) = Total = 9,000 9,000 5,400 4,500 69,900
Kristy and McKay Caston with their children
2) We need prayer partners. In his book, Let the Nations be Glad, John Piper says, “It is the proclamation of the gospel that is the work of missions... [but] prayer [is] God’s instrument to release the power of the gospel.”2 3) We need people. If you think you possibly are being drawn to participate on the ground with us and want to inquire further, please do not hesitate to contact me in person. THE CHURCH PLANTING PASTOR: Dr. McKay Caston ๏ Bachelors in History and Literature from the University of Mississippi ๏ Masters and doctorate degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary ๏ Fourteen years of experience as a staff pastor and senior pastor ๏ Equipped as a church planter by Perimeter Church and the North Georgia New Church Network ๏ Approved by the PCA’s Church Planting Assessment Center ๏ Married for almost 17 years, with three children, ages 13, 10 and 5. ASSOCIATION & ACCOUNTABILITY The Dahlonega Church Plant will be under the guidance of our sending church, Perimeter Church in Atlanta, which has a renowned track record of planting vital, gospel-centered churches. We also will be in partnership with the North Georgia New Church Network3 and Metro Atlanta Presbytery of the PCA.
2John Piper, Let the Nations be Glad (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993), pp. 62-63.
The North Georgia NCN is a ministry that provides continuous training for church planters in north Georgia.
PLAN FOR MOVING FROM A DONOR-SUPPORTED CHURCH TO A SELF-SUPPORTED CHURCH 100% Core Group Support Perimeter Support Outside Support 75% 50% 25% 0% Year 1 Year 2 45% 10% 45% 33% 33% 17% 17% Year 3 Year 4 34% 66% 100%
PROJECTED MILESTONES TOWARD PARTICULARIZATION Phases Dates November–December 2008 January 2009–June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 PHASE II: Gathering September 2009– December 2009 Goals Attend Assessment Center Complete Ministry Plan Develop ministry budget Develop ministry partners through vision casting opportunities Enroll in “Leadership Lumpkin” Relocate to the Dahlonega area Identify potential meeting locations Involvement in life interest areas Networking Sharing the gospel Hosting gathering events Vision casting Launch a gathering Bible study Develop a “launch team” Continue gathering Bible Study, and other potential area group studies Continue vision casting gatherings Recruit/hire administrative assistant, worship leader, and children’s director to begin Summer 2010 Preview services Publicize the launch of public worship Launch public worship service Launch cell groups Launch men’s discipleship Bible study First Inquirer’s/New Member Class Begin formal training of first officers Bring on church planting apprentice/CPiR Officers ordained Particularization Financially self-supporting
PHASE I: Preparation/ Raise Support Team
PHASE III: Equip Launch Team
July–Aug. 2010 (or earlier) PHASE IV: Public Worship September 2010 (or earlier) January 2011 PHASE V: Train Ofﬁcers/ Particularization September 2011 September 2012