Church Plant in Portland, Maine
We are so excited to partner with Dan and Carrie Wolf to plant a church in Portland, Maine. Dan served as the Associate Pastor at Grace for 6 years before being called to plant in New England.
Portland is the largest (pop. 535,420) and fastest growing (4.15%) metro area in Northern New England. It has a burgeoning historic downtown with an experiential culture focused on food, arts, and the outdoors that is drawing an influx of youth professionals, young families, and tech development from throughout New England and the country. Portland also is the 2nd most post-Christian city in America with 60% of the populationunengaged in a relationship with Jesus or the life of a church.
Dan and Carrie’s Call to Portland
The seed for this call to Maine was planted when Carrie was a little girl. Her family vacationed in Maine for 3 weeks in the summer and every Sunday her dad sought to take the family to church. Some Sundays they’d drive over an hour to try a church and what they found were small conservative churches that were struggling to reach the culture or aging churches that were not grounded in the authority of Scripture. As Carrie and Dan have vacationed together in Maine the last 12 years and learned more about the need for church planting in post-Christian areas, they have grown more burdened for God’s heart for the people of Maine. Two summers ago, through numerous providential conversations and circumstances, they began praying about whether God was calling them to plant in Portland. Over a two-year process of listening to God, seeking counsel, and talking with leaders in Portland and New England, God has ordained countless circumstances to move their hearts from “what if” to “what could” to “we could” to “we are.” Dan is a passionate about reaching the unchurched and loves equipping Christians to engage in invitational evangelism, group discipleship, and immersive experiences that connect people to the heart of God. Carrie is a nurse who loves missions, justice, life-on-life discipleship. They are proud parents of fun-loving three-year-old son named Coen and a sweet one-year-old daughter named Imogen.
The vision for Portland is to plant a church that exists to “invite all people to explore, follow, and join Jesus to bring life to the brokenness in ourselves, our city, and the world.” Rather than launch with a service, they plan to start hosting Alphas throughout the city to give people a chance to explore Jesus in a conversational way. As people encounter Jesus, they will form missional communities that will disciple people to follow Jesus and establish Jesus-shaped rhythms of life in community. Eventually as gifts emerge, these groups will all gather to worship together to be formed by Spirit, sacrament, and mission. These missional communities will serve as incubators to train leaders to discover their gifts and passions in order to join Jesus to reach the city and the world. Specific areas of mission include marriage and family discipleship, refugee ministry, and strategic global mission partnerships. Their desire is to join Jesus to plant a church-planting church in New England.
How Can You Help?
They can’t do this work alone. Anything that is built to last need a strong foundation and a support team. Grace is a partner and serves as a sending church for Dan and Carrie. They are planting with the Diocese of New England and the Gulf Atlantic Diocese is also partnering with the plant. Dan and Carrie are looking for individual partners who would pray for this work and financially support this vision for Portland. They also would love to host summer mission trips of Grace members who would like to come up and serve the city and see what God is doing in New England, as well as eat some good lobster and enjoy the natural beauty. If you are interested in joining in this work through prayer, giving or going on a mission trip, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click below and we’ll personally follow up with you.
Download more information about Dan and Carrie's Church Plant, Rise Church, in Portland, Maine here: