Waypoint Begins Planting Church in Frederick, MD

Posted in Church Planting on December 1, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

dsc_0239As a kid, when Michael Bartlett walked into church for the first time, he had no idea that it would change his life forever. It was a brand-new church called New Life in Chantilly, Virginia. There was a celebration that day as New Life prepared to send their former worship minister to work with another new church in Virginia Beach called Forefront Church.

Over the next few years, Michael was baptized, started leading the youth group, and felt a call to ministry that led him to Milligan College and the dream of one day planting a new church to seek the lost in the DC/Baltimore area. That dream now has a name and a location: Michael and his wife, Rae, along with their beautiful daughter, Elise, are planting Collective Church in Frederick, MD.

Frederick is a rapidly growing city in western Maryland. Full of history, art, and culture, Frederick has attracted the third largest percentage of millennials in the state. It is a perfect fit for the Bartletts, who want to introduce young adults to Jesus so that He will impact their major life decisions on marriage, kids and starting careers.

The Bartletts and three other families who moved to the Frederick area to help them are focusing on showing their neighbors that Jesus is a loving God who freely offers grace and forgiveness. Collective Church is launching small groups now and is working toward a fall 2017 launch date.


Collective Church is a “Church for the Rest of Us” designed for those who walked away from God a long time ago, those who have never been introduced to God, or those who are struggling to get connected in the Frederick community.

For more information about Collective Church, to support the project, or to connect with Michael, head over to http://www.mycollective.church, or find them on Facebook and Instagram at: MyCollectiveChurch.

A Great History – A Compelling Future

Posted in Across the Commonwealth, Inspiring Stories on November 21, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

parkview-churchSunday, October 2 was a day of celebration at Staunton Church of Christ as the church gathered to mark their seventy-fifth anniversary. Not only a significant day for the congregation gathered in Staunton, this Sunday was also a celebration in the history of Waypoint Church Partners. On October 5, 1941, with a grant of $44.85 from the VEF to pay rent and build pews, the first Waypoint-sponsored church was launched.

During the service, the congregation remembered what God has done with some great old hymns and pictures of previous days of ministry shown on the screen. But the theme for the day was not just reflecting on the past, but allowing the past to become a springboard into the future. Accompanied by dramatic presentations based on the parable of the lost sheep, coin, and boy in Luke 15, minister Barry Creasey cast a compelling vision of an outreach-focused church. As the service came to a conclusion, the congregation was directed to the front yard for the unveiling of the church’s new name – Parkview Christian Church.

As I sat in the service that day, learning about Parkview’s significant prayer ministry and multiple outreach initiatives, I thanked God for the thousands of people who had walked through the doors of Parkview Christian and the 500 souls who had been baptized into Christ there. And as I reflected, I realized that only God knew in 1941 the full Kingdom impact of that first Waypoint church plant.

As I drove away from Parkview Christian Church, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that every person and church who has ever contributed to, prayed for, and worked with Waypoint Church Partners has an eternity of celebration waiting – celebration around the throne of God with His Lamb and with thousands of people who have come to know Christ through Waypoint church plants not only in Virginia, but across the mid-Atlantic region and around the world.

Thank you, Parkview Christian, for becoming our first church plant seventy-five years ago. And thank you, all of you who, through your sacrificial gifts, prayers, and hard work, have allowed us to plant dozens more!

neil wheeler - circleNeil Wheeler
Director of Leader Care


Happy First Birthday, Waypoint!

Posted in ICOM, Thank You on November 1, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

13892112_10153709899551319_8212265264257580350_nIt was just a year ago that the Board of Directors for both Envision and the VEF unanimously voted to merge our two organizations into one strong ministry to serve churches and leaders throughout the region. It’s been a big year ever since.

A new name and logo were chosen to brand our new image. We hosted the ICOM missions conference in Richmond. We planted two great new churches. We hosted 3 leadership seminars in NC and VA. We held two golf tournaments to share the Waypoint story. We added nearly 10 Fusion groups to our growing array of peer learning groups for pastors. And those are just the highlights!

It is your partnership and support that make all this happen. Thanks for being part of Waypoint’s first year!

It was also a big year for the Waypoint staff. Neil Wheeler came on board as the Director of Leader Care. Our Director of Media, Rachel Woolard, added a Graphic Design degree from Liberty University to her resume. Our Associate Director, Dave, and Administrator, Cindy Hileman, relocated from Williamsburg, VA to Raleigh, NC to serve as the home base for our ministry to North Carolina churches. And possibly the most exciting news was my family added four new ducks to our growing mini-farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We’re poised for another big year in 2017: New Fusion groups, five (yes, five!) new churches, more leadership seminars, more targeted consulting to help churches stay on mission. Because of our partnership with you, we’re “Navigating Ministry Together!”

Your Ministry Partner,

Tim Cole headshot - circle smTim Cole
Executive Director

This article was originally published in The Waypoint Endeavor: Fall 2016 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of The Waypoint Endeavor, please send your name and mailing address to rwoolard@waypointchurchpartners.com


Who’s in Your Bullpen?

Posted in General Advice, Waypoint Events on August 22, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

Johnny Bench,
Cincinnati Reds legend

I grew up a big baseball fan. My heroes were players on the famed “Big Red Machine” like Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose.

With the dog days of summer having already arrived, any serious fan of America’s favorite past time knows that one of the critical factors that makes an average team really great is a strong “bullpen.”  The bullpen is the group of 6 or 7 pitchers on the team ready to step in when one of the starting pitchers is lost due to injury, fatigue or ineffectiveness. Without them, a good team fades into mediocrity as the season progresses.

Who’s in YOUR bullpen?

The same is true for the church. One of the critical factors that makes an average church really great is a strong bullpen. Your “bullpen” is the group of 3-4 members fully ready to step in when one of your Elders is lost due to transfer, fatigue, ineffectiveness or death. Without a strategic, intentional plan to develop your church’s bullpen, even a good church will eventually fade into mediocrity (or worse!).

Waypoint is offering a great opportunity to help develop your bullpen this Fall. The E2-Effective Elders Conference in October is an ideal venue to bring not only your current team of Elders but also those who should be in your ‘bullpen.’  They’ll get to see and hear first-hand what it looks like be part of a healthy Eldership team and how that translates into building a strong church.

We hope to see you, your Elders and your bullpen at the E2: Effective Elders conference in October! Check out our events page to learn more and sign up today.

Tim Cole headshot - circle smTim Cole
Executive Director

This article was originally published in The Waypoint Endeavor: Summer 2016 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of The Waypoint Endeavor, please send your name and mailing address to rwoolard@waypointchurchpartners.com




A Healthy Eldership: Waypoint Can Help Point the Way

Posted in Waypoint Services on July 25, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

Multi-ethnic men talkingWaypoint exists to help churches and leaders navigate uncharted ministry waters. Much of our time and energy is spent with ministers. We also advise and equip elders to chart the course and navigate through ministry challenges.

Here is a quick list of some of the services we provide to elders:

Elder Meeting Coaching
Waypoint staff can visit your elders’ meetings to give feedback and advice for creating a more effective leadership environment.

Elder Retreats
Waypoint staff can help you plan and deliver a great Elders’ Retreat designed to help your church elders focus and stay on track for the important mission entrusted to them.

Hiring Service
Waypoint staff can coach elders faced with the task of creating a comprehensive process for hiring a new senior minister or associate staff.

Strategic Consultations
Waypoint staff often advise elders about specific topics to provide broader perspective and wisdom. Recent consultations have included same-sex/transgender issues, bylaws revisions, long-range planning, incorporation & 501(c)(3) filing, merger discussions, and more.

For more information on how Waypoint Church Partners can help grow and serve your elders, contact Tim Cole at tcole@waypointchurchpartners.com.

Tim Cole headshot - circle smTim Cole
Executive Director

This article was originally published in The Waypoint Endeavor: Spring 2016 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of the VEF Quarterly, please send your name and mailing address to rwoolard@waypointchurchpartners.com



ICOM 2016 Refugee Project

Posted in ICOM on July 18, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
     — Hebrews 13:2, NIV

Refugee & International Student Engagement Project

Refugee & International Student Engagement Project

In 2015, Waypoint challenged local churches to raise funds to plant seven churches on six continents. These efforts encouraged the ICOM 2016 President, Mike Schrage, to start an initiative of his own: The RISE Project.

The Refugee and International Student Engagement (RISE) Project calls on the Church to mobilize and seize the unique opportunities we have in our own country. We can make a difference without acquiring a passport or learning a new language! Our ability to go to the ends of the earth has never been easier.

The RISE Project includes a small group video series to encourage viewers to better understand and get involved with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. We have an unprecedented opportunity to display the heart of Jesus by welcoming and serving those who are far away from loved ones and looking for ways to belong in their new home, whether temporary or permanent.

The goal of The RISE Project is to raise $250,000 to distribute through grants to churches and ministries who are willing to reach out and welcome those who have arrived as refugees or international students. As expert practitioners inform and train us, we hope to start a new conversation about these open doors and to rise up and embrace this sacred opportunity to represent the loving heart of Jesus to those who have come so far.

For more information, go to www.theicom.org/rise to learn, listen, and give.


Urgency Over Complacency

Posted in Prayer Request on July 11, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners
Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetIt is impossible to read the gospels without catching the sense urgency that Jesus challenged His followers to live under. He constantly stressed the importance of watching with expectancy, being dressed ready, and even looking to the heavens for His return. And the last recorded words of our Lord in Scripture are “I am coming soon!”

Is it just me, or has the Church lost its sense of expectancy of the Lord’s soon return? Could it be that the Enemy has lulled followers of Jesus into a complacency regarding His return? Could it be that he has that he is very satisfied that we spend most or our time and effort trying to grow our churches rather than focusing on saving lost people from an eternity without Jesus?

Perhaps it is time that we go to our knees to repent of our complacency and pray that God’s Spirit would raise up a massive spirit of urgency for evangelism among our churches and a burning desire to do whatever it takes to see as many lost people saved as possible before Jesus’ soon return!

neil wheeler - circleNeil Wheeler
Director of Leader Care