Get Ready to ‘Germinate’ with NOW Start Network

With a shovel turn of fertile earth (actually 10 or 12 shovels), a new homeless housing ministry sprouted at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Seattle, Washington at the end of 2022 — which, when it matures in 16 months or so, will house 85 homeless persons and families. Steven Tucker, a lay leader from The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, is eager to tell the story of their ministry’s partnership with LiHi (Low Income Housing Institute) to plant and water this new mission in the name of Christ.

Ten years ago, a new ministry sprouted in the Tacoma, Washington area that is now taking root in Puyallup under the name Garden City Church. George Bedlion III, founding church planter of this flourishing community, has a story to tell about the growth he watched God seed in their midst. Although not an LCMS ministry, George has a story from which we LCMS Lutherans can learn about planting and watering new growth in Pacific Northwest soil.

Jeremiah Drelleshak is cutting into a new barbershop ministry where seeds of the gospel can be planted and watered in the lives of young men over a barber’s chair. His ministry as a DCE in the LCMS has prepared him for the ministry of the word, and over the last few years, his ministry of the clippers is beginning to bear fruit.

These are just three of the germination stories lined up to be shared at the NOW Start Network Germinate Event on April 21-22 in Puyallup, Washington! Come join Steven, George, Jeremiah, and others — as together we will learn about and take inspiration from one another’s stories of new ministry growth.

Key factors in germination are moisture, temperature, and growing medium. With the right combination of these, a seed coat begins to soften, moisture and nutrients penetrate the outer husk of the shell, the cells inside the seed begin to expand, and soon the shoot begins to sprout right out of the seed. A good gardener knows how to manipulate those conditions to sprout a garden full of seeds, but no matter how technical one gets with the botanical inner life of individual cells within a seed, there is still the question of “How?”

We’ve come a long way in our botanical and agricultural knowledge since the first century, yet Jesus’ parable of the seed is still relevant. “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear” (Mark 4:26-28). While Jesus’ analogy was of seed germination, the reality he was speaking of was the church. Many of the apostles saw themselves as seed scatterers, or seed waterers, but as Paul said: “Neither he who plants, nor he who waters, is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

Neither Steven, George, nor Jeremiah is interested in claiming their own credit for the stories and advice they will have to share, but they do hope to encourage us to trust the one who gives the growth. That encouragement, and the practical wisdom of those who have worked in this soil before, is just what we need to plant and water new ministry in the name of Christ.

Germinate, April 21-22, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Puyallup, Washington is for lay persons or church workers… anyone with a heart for seeding and supporting new ministries in the Northwest District of the LCMS. The cost is just $50 per person, or if attending with a team from your ministry, just $25 per person. The event is being co-sponsored by the NOW District and LCEF.

Learn more and register to join at You can also find more info on our website events calendar.

Organized by Mike Von Behren, Ty Schommer, Amy Schweim, Todd Roeske, Garrett Knudson, Jeremy Lucke, and Chris Simmons (Now Start Network Cultivators)

Mike Von Behren

The NOW Start Network

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