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Ministry

Hunt Family Update – Church Planting

September 12, 2018

As many of you know, my family and I moved home to Las Cruces after completing my Masters of Divinity from Covenant Seminary. For the last year, we have been pursuing full-time vocational ministry opportunities around the country. Through much prayer and seeking wisdom from trusted mentors and friends, our family has decided to put down roots in Las Cruces by re-planting Desert Rivers Community Church. Our family is beyond excited to minister again in our hometown with the hope that is only found in the Gospel. Though the road ahead is full of uncertainty and fear, amidst the chaos there is excitement, joy, and dependence upon our God to do great things in our city. Thank you for your prayers, messages, and encouragement along the journey.

A NEW SEASON

For the past three months, the leadership of Desert Rivers has been meeting to discuss some potential changes to the church. After many meetings (many, many meetings!), the leadership of Desert Rivers has decided to transition the Saturday gathering into a launch team model with the explicit purpose of re-planting on a Sunday morning with a new name, mission, and values. Starting the first week of October, Desert Rivers will transition from gathering on Saturdays as an official church to meeting on Sundays as a launch team. This launch team will seek to soak itself in the new name, mission, and values of the church, while also seeking to live missionally, engaging the city with the Gospel. We will continue to gather as a launch team until we have gained enough critical mass to officially  launch publicly on a Sunday morning. Right now, our tentative launch date is September 2019.

Since we will be transition the congregation into a new plant, we have decided to re-write the name, mission, and values of the new church to begin a new season of ministry in Las Cruces. This is not to say that anything was wrong or ineffective with the previous information. It is rather that beginning of a new season calls for fresh vision. Our hope is that the same spirit and culture that was alive in Desert Rivers can be carried into the new church plant.

NAME & MISSION

Name: The name of the new church plant is Coram Deo. Coram Deo is a latin phrase which means “before the face of God.” Our vision behind the name is that we would be people that live our entire lives before the face of God in such a way that the Gospel informs and shapes us spiritually, emotionally, physically, culturally, and socially.

Mission: The mission of the church is the intended goal or purpose of the church. Our mission is: We are a group of transformed disciples who live before the face of God for the glory of Christ and the good of the city.

CONNECT WITH US

If you are interested in learning more about the name, mission, and values of Coram Deo, or would like more information about the church plant, please visit Coram Deo’s website (more updates coming soon). Also, if you would like to receive a newsletter that gives updates, prayer requests, and further information about our gatherings, please fill out the form below.

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Ministry, Seminary

Hunt Family Update – Graduation and Next Steps

May 16, 2018

As many of you know, three years ago my family and I moved to St. Louis to pursue a Masters of Divinity at Covenant Seminary. The last three years have been some of the most fruitful and challenging years. The Lord has been so kind to grow our family in all respects—emotionally, spiritually and physically (with the birth of Owen in October 2016). Throughout our time at Covenant, I have worked on staff as a Church Planting Resident at The Summit, an Acts29 church in O’Fallon, Missouri. Again, the Lord was so kind to provide us such an incredible church to worship and grow in. The staff at The Summit have been an amazing blessing to our family and we are eternally grateful to God what he has done through that place.

Now that I am nearing graduation (two days, to be exact!), many of you have asked what is next for our family. I wanted to write a short blog giving you an update on our family in regards to future ministerial opportunities.

A NEW CHAPTER

For the past eight months, I have been actively pursuing jobs within a ten-hour bubble from home. These positions ranged from Executive Pastor, Associate Pastor, Solo Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, and Lead Pastor. After eight months of diligent search, we are still in the process of interviewing with potential churches throughout the Southwest and West. Since none of these churches are in the final stages, we have decided to return home to Las Cruces to continue the job search while also spending some much needed time resting from full-time school. We plan to move next week and will be in town by the end of May.

After my family moved to St. Louis, I was meditating upon Jesus’ words in Mark 10, where Jesus proclaims that it is a blessing to leave the comfortable in order to follow God’s call on your life. In this season of uncertainty, I am praying that God would grant us the same faith as we walk into a season of instability and unknown. Our hope and security will not found in a stable job or in verifiable next steps, but in the faithfulness and providence of our God, who always cares for his children.

We invite you to pray with us in this season of instability, that God would grant us faith to trust in him, while also for potential ministry jobs in the future. After three years, we are excited to eat green chile, watch a sunset, and connect with old friends and family. See you soon, Las Cruces!

Book Review, Books, Ministry

Book Review: The Imperfect Disciple

May 29, 2017

My bookshelf continues to get larger with books published by Jared C. Wilson simply because his writing is saturated in the finished work of Jesus, grounded biblically in the Scriptures, and in tune with the needs of evangelicalism in North America. Time and time again, Wilson brings you back to the cross of Calvary, inviting you as a fellow brother to bow beneath King Jesus in awe and reverence. This remains true in his new work The Imperfect Disciple as he avoids simple truisms and platitudes, but rather expounds the messy, joyful, frustrating, hopeful journey of following Christ as his disciple. For those struggle with books on discipleship that simply give recipes, tips and helps, I highly recommend you bask in the wisdom of Jared Wilson, being drawn in by his love of Jesus and for the church.

One of my favorite aspects of Wilson’s writing is his ability to engage in real-life scenarios. As a former small-town Pastor, Wilson brings experiences that are common to all of us. Whether that is feeling awkward about giving a friend a tract about the Gospel or sitting by a friend who has cancer, Wilson doesn’t shy away from the nitty-gritty, real-life events that we face all the time. In this respect, Wilson doesn’t narrow discipleship to a program or church-event—it is the life-long call of every Christian to follow Jesus, both with its disappointments and victories.

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Book Review, Books, Ministry

Book Review: God the Son Incarnate

May 27, 2017

Stephen Wellum’s God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ is one of the newest editions to the Foundations of Evangelical Theology set. This lengthy work focuses on Christology specifically, seeking to answer the fundamental yet critical question: who is Jesus Christ? For those new to study of Christology, this book will give you insight into the progression of Christology development; for those who are well versed in the field, Wellum’s work will be a welcomed perspective in evangelical scholarship. As others have noted, Wellum’s strengths are lucid thoughts and coherent arguments which help him fully develop his Christological positions. As a way of summarizing, Wellum provides his own thesis:

“Ultimately, the thesis of this entire work is one theological conclusion with many parts. Based on the warrant and critique of the previous chapters, we must confess that the identity of the Jesus of the Bible is that he is God the Son incarnate.”

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted

April 27, 2017

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the eighth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted  was written by Thomas Kelly in 1805. Set to somber music, Kelly has written masterfully about the death of Christ. The hymn exposes the true nature of our sin and guilt by showing the only remedy appropriate: the death of the Son of God. Churches would do well to sit under the weight of this hymn, drawing us deeper into the wounds of Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God.

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Featured, Ministry, Theology

Church—Sing Your Theology!

August 9, 2016

Worship can easily be one of the most divisive elements in church life, ranging from the preference of style, to the actual choice of songs and structure of a service. Rarely will you meet someone who has no opinion on worship in the church. In some respects, this is a good problem because God has called his people to be a worshiping people (evidenced by the numerous Psalms); the people should care about the manner in which they worship the Lord. All that to say, worship is a complicated issue, and this post is in no way intended to produce division regarding various styles, liturgical practices, or church decisions regarding worship. Rather, I want to call our churches to see the importance of worship, and furthermore—the importance of words in worship.

Words carry immense weight. We proclaim what we believe through words, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,” as the creed proclaims. In a lot of ways, words are how we commune with God, through his Holy Scriptures (albeit, not solely or independent of the Holy Spirit). The Gospel is promulgated through words, as the Apostle Paul says, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28, emphasis mine). Therefore, if words carry immense weight, the selection of words in the context of congregational singing also carries immense weight.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: From Whence This Fear and Unbelief

August 3, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the eighth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn From Whence This Fear and Unbelief was written by Augustus Toplady (who also wrote famous hymn Rock of Ages) in the 18th century. Augustus beautifully writes of Jesus’ finished and complete work, calling upon the believer to rest in Jesus’ efficacious blood. Are you struggling and doubting God’s love and acceptance of you? Bask in the comfort of Toplady’s words, who invites you to trust and rest in the Gospel’s full and final pardon.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: He Will Hold Me Fast

May 2, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the seventh installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn He Will Hold Me Fast was written by Ada R. Habershon in 1906. Grounding the believer’s hope in God’s sovereign grip, this hymn encourages believers to rest their salvation and life wholly upon God.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: And Can It Be That I Should Gain?

February 12, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the sixth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain? was written by Charles Wesley in 1738. This hymn remains one of Wesley’s greatest works in all of the 6,000 hymns that he wrote.

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Featured, Hymns, Ministry, Seminary, Theology

Hymns We Should Sing More: How Sweet and Awful is the Place

February 10, 2016

I recently began a blog series entitled Hymns We Should Sing More, which seeks to edify the church with rich, biblical hymns. This is the fifth installment in this series. You can read the previous installments here.

All around the world, Christians gather for corporate worship and sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs as an act of worship to God. Specifically these hymns are full of rich biblical truths about God, mankind, salvation, the coming Kingdom and many other theological topics. Unfortunately, many Christians are unfamiliar with a vast number of theologically rich hymns.

When hymns are sung in a contemporary worship service, there is often a lack of repertoire of hymnology. This series, Hymns We Should Sing More, is a means of getting more Christians aware of the vast number of theologically rich hymns that we rarely, if ever, sing.

The hymn How Sweet and Awful is the Place was written by Isaac Watts in 1707. This title may seem odd to many of you, therefore you must understand that the word awful conveyed the sense of “awe-inducing,” which a modern equivalent would be awesome. Therefore, many hymnals translate the title How Sweet and Awesome is the Place to avoid the confusion all together.

This hymn beautifully weaves sound theology and heart-felt affections throughout the lyrics. Watts poses an excellent question that every Christian should ask, “Why was I made to hear Thy voice, when thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come?” Watts grounds his assurance not in man’s response but in God’s sovereign grace that drew him in. Sadly, I have yet to find a contemporary rendition of this hymn outside of Together for the Gospel’s conference rendition, which you can listen to here.

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