Stir January Recap: Josh White on Planting and Pastoring in the Northwest


Northwest Church Planting’s Stir is a one-day church planting event for planters and churches interested in planting to come together to network, hear inspiring talks, and eat free food. Our January events broke our previous records, with over a hundred people in attendance.

Josh White (planter and pastor at Door of Hope in Portland, Oregon) was at both events and spoke on his experiences designing a church from the ground up — covering core values, struggles, and ways in which he sees God moving in the Northwest. You can listen to his talk below.

Thanks to Anchor Church in Tacoma and Mosaic in Portland for hosting us! And thanks to Josh White for sharing.

If you missed out on this round of Stir events, be sure to RSVP now for our May dates in Woodinville, WA and Portland, OR by clicking the links here.

Stir began with a time of worship led by the team from East Park Church in Vancouver, WA.

Stir began with a time of worship led by the team from East Park Church in Vancouver, WA.

Micah and Gabe interviewed Josh, a church planter from Tennessee.

Micah and Gabe interviewed Josh, a church planter from Tennessee.

Attendees marked their plants’ locations on these maps of the local counties.

Attendees marked their plants’ locations on these maps of the local counties.

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Who Will You Celebrate on Church Planting Sunday (Feb 24)?

We have much to celebrate here in the Northwest. Just a few highlights from the past year:

  • Northwest Church Planting put on quarterly Stir events in 2018, reaching over a hundred planters and churches interested in planting, in both Washington and Oregon

  • Northwest Church Planting assessed dozens of potential planters and pastors in 2018

  • Anchor Church (Tacoma, Washington) moved to weekly gatherings, and added a second Sunday service

  • Journey Roseburg (Roseburg, Oregon) received a generous gift of $6k from their supporting church Network in order to purchase heating units for their building

  • Many plants had momentous Easter celebrations: Roots (Portland, Oregon) baptized six people, Hope Church (Oak Harbor, Washington) collaborated with five area churches for a combined gathering, The Living Room (Central Point, Oregon) baptized five at their Easter service

  • Multiple plants entered new facilities: The Way (Salem, Oregon) and International Christian Fellowship (Marysvale, Washington) both found new homes in 2018

Here are a few ideas as your church considers how to celebrate Church Planting Sunday:

  • Invite a local church planter to your service to talk about his/her church’s vision

  • If your church currently supports a plant, have a special time of prayer during the service for the plant that your church or church Network supports

  • If your church doesn’t currently have a plant to support, consider having a time of prayer asking for planters to be called and connections to be made

  • Interested churches can also refer to our page on 10 Ways To Serve A Church Plant

Want something to hand out to your church on Church Planting Sunday? Download this printable flyer (2 to a page).

The Way (Salem, Oregon) Has Its Grand Opening Service

The Way is a church plant in the Salem, Oregon, area that is led by Alex and Olga Yermachenkov and supported by Salem Alliance.

After years spent germinating as a home church, they locked up a physical location toward the end of 2018. On January 13th, they held their grand opening service to break in their new location.


Northwest Church Planting has walked alongside The Way through their church planting journey, providing assessments and coaching. If you’re a church planter or a church in search of a plant to support, and are interested in taking the next step, we’d love to hear from you.

Top Qualities that Make a Successful Church Planter


On October 30 and 31, Northwest Church Planting hosted Stir church planting events in Hillsboro, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Bob Carlton, a church planting expert from Stadia, detailed what it takes to be a successful church planter, culled from his years of experience planting and recruiting planters.

In a room full of people either planting, preparing to plant, or supporting a church plant, Carlton laid out ten “Success Factors” that his experience has shown to be vital:

  1. Spiritual Vitality—church planting is first and foremost a spiritual activity.

  2. Marriage & Family—how you lead at home predicts how you will lead a church.

  3. Relational Skills—church planting is all about relationships.

  4. Directional Clarity—clarity brings focus and energy especially when it’s hard.

  5. Catalytic Leadership—leading others is the primary work of a church planter.

  6. Communication—communication is how people become aware of and perceive the new church.

  7. Disciple Making—if you can’t make disciples, why bother?

  8. Personal Capacity—speed of the leader, speed of the team.

  9. Work Ethic—church planting is hard.

  10. Contextual Awareness—what worked there won’t work here.


Thanks to Gabe Kolstad and Westside Community Church for hosting the Hillsboro event, and North Seattle Alliance for hosting the Seattle event.

Get in now on the next Stir events in your area by RSVPing below:

Nearly 300 Have a Ball at Anchor's Kickball Tournament

There’s a kid in all of us that comes out on sunny summer Saturdays. On August 18th, Anchor Church (a church plant in the Tacoma, Washington) invited those with inner kids — and families with actual kids — to a day of summer fun playing kickball.

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With prayer and careful promotion, almost 300 people from the Tacoma area came out in teams of 10 for the tournament. Out of those 300, around half had no prior connection to Anchor — a terrific boost as the church heads toward weekly gatherings at the end of September.

Lead Planter Bryan Halferty: “One team in our Kickball Tournament found out about the event through a random website. He formed a team of ten and they all had a blast. Only one person on that team was a follower of Jesus and he didn't have a church community. He's now plugged in with an Anchor Group and has invited all of his teammates to the launch of Anchor on 9/30. We couldn't be more excited with how the Anchor Kickball Classic turned out. It was a perfect "bump" as we — as a team — look towards launch.”

Sometimes all you need to reach the community is a ball and a field. Does this spark any ideas for your next event?

The need for prayerful dependence as a church planter

We recently sat down with Brian Halferty, lead planter at Anchor Church in Tacoma, Washington, to talk about his experiences following God's call out of his comfort zone and into church planting.

Brian's story is powerful because it touches on the difficult realities of church planting, as well as how Christ has been leading him onward through prayerful dependence. 

Are you a planter struggling with loneliness, or feeling overwhelmed by the weight on your shoulders? We'd like to support you. Contact Micah to get the conversation started.

Learn how to work with civic leaders with Chuck Bomar

Stir, Northwest Church Planting's quarterly event for church planters, once again took place on May 1 (Tacoma) and May 2 (Portland).

Chuck Bomar, planter and pastor of Colossae as well as the head of the DMin program at Multnomah, was our featured speaker and gave tangible ways for planters to engage with civic leaders in their neighborhoods. You can listen and download his talk, taken from the Tacoma event at Anchor Church, below.


Easter good news from Northwest Church Planting-supported churches

  • Roots (Portland, Oregon) celebrated 6 baptisms in their Easter gathering
  • Journey Roseburg (Roseburg, Oregon) had a very full gathering for their second Easter
  • International Bible Christian Fellowship (Marysville, Washington) celebrated Easter in a new facility; 60 were in attendance
  • The Living Room (Central Point, Oregon) celebrated 4 baptisms at their Easter gathering
  • Anchor Church (Tacoma, Washington) had 350 attend their Easter gatherings, over two services. Easter was their third preview Sunday, with an anticipated weekly launch this autumn
  • New Ground (Clarkston, Washington) held their Spring Celebration on Holy Saturday; 350 from the community showed up for the free family event (egg hunt, bounce house, free hot dogs, etc.)
  • Hope Church (Oak Harbor, Washington) joined with five area churches for a sunrise service before gathering in the afternoon for a service, meal, and egg hunt
  • The Way Church (Salem, Oregon) had its second preview service; more people are becoming curious about the church, including some patrons of the coffee shop where they meet
  • Sozo (Puyallup, Washington) celebrated Easter with a meal, a conversation about the resurrection, and a very special time of communion

5 Baptized during Christmas Eve service at The Living Room (Central Point, OR)

As Dan Gregory (Lead Planter) tells it: 

Christmas Eve we had an amazing morning Gathering where we explored the miraculous truth of the Incarnation (God putting on flesh) through a brief sermonette followed by a baptism service. What a great way to celebrate the new life His incarnation brought us through experiencing new life as people publicly identifying themselves to be in-Christ and declaring their desire to follow Him. It was a precious time as three adults were baptized followed by an eleven year-old boy (which we had prepared for). Words can’t express the joy in the room as we served as witnesses to their love and obedience to Jesus. The part we weren’t prepared for was that as we finished the young boy’s baptism, his mother came forward. After being part of his baptism class, and witnessing his example that morning, the Lord moved on her heart and she declared a new faith in Jesus, a new desire to follow Him and she too got baptized! Woohoo!

Celebrate Alliance Northwest Church Plants with Us on February 25

On February 25, churches across the US within The Alliance will celebrate church planting. The Northwest, in particular, has much to celebrate. 

In recognition of this, we have put together a leaflet containing information on church planting and some of the encouraging headlines from new churches affiliated with Northwest Church Planting.

Churches are encouraged to use any or all of this content, and distribute however they see fit. Let's spread the word about what God is up to in our neighborhoods!

Over 300 attend Anchor Church's preview gathering in Tacoma

Anchor Church, led by planter Bryan Halferty, held a preview gathering on January 28, after months of core team meetings, repairs and remodeling on the old Tacoma Alliance building that they now inhabit, and prayerfully crafting a mission that is on target for their context in Tacoma. A sense of celebration and excitement permeated the air at Anchor. 

Trusting that God would bring the people who needed to be there, Anchor set out over two hundred chairs in preparation. What a beautiful thing to then have to add a few more rows once people started filling the sanctuary.

Micah Dodson, Director of Northwest Church Planting, was even spotted playing bass for the worship team! Images of the gathering are below.


Rick McKinley at church planting event Stir: "Be a prophetic voice in your city"

Stir, Northwest Church Planting's regular networking and inspiration event for church planters, recently welcomed Rick McKinley (Imago Dei, Multnomah's D-Min program) to speak on Staying on Mission in an Ever-Changing Context. 


A combined nearly 100 church planters and teams attended Stir between its two locations, held in Woodinville, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

Thanks to all who attended! And stay tuned for details on the next Stir events, happening in May.


Rick McKinley's talk from the Portland, Oregon event can be heard and downloaded below:



Alliance Northwest Networks are proving to be a good vehicle toward achieving our mission to reach our  "Judea and Samaria." The result is an uptick in church planting across our Field. Here are some wins we're tracking:

  • The Southern Oregon Network has launched two churches, The Living Room and Journey Roseburg.
  • The East Side Network just launched New Ground, a new church in Clarkston.
  • The North Sound Network is planting a multi-ethnic campus in Arlington.
  • The South Sound Network has come alongside Mercer Creek to start a new church called Anchor in Tacoma (two weeks ago, Anchor had 300 attend at their first preview service, see the news story below).
  • Hood River Alliance, in partnership with the Portland Metro Network, is planting One Life in The Dalles. In addition, the Portland Metro Network came alongside Mosaic in Portland to launch a second Mosaic campus.
  • The North Puget Network is helping to plant Hope Church in Oak Harbor.

Networks are proving to be an invaluable vehicle to realize our vision to reach God’s lost children in the neighborhoods that surround us.
Today, we have far more Networks (and churches) poised to resource a new church than we have leaders to start them. The Alliance US has set aside Sunday, February 25 to both celebrate church planting and pray for more church planting leaders. It’s the perfect opportunity for all of us to remind or reintroduce folks to Jesus' call on the Church to start churches. Would you take time the 25th to highlight the ministry of church planting to your adults, student ministries, and children? If your church is in a Network, consider highlighting how you’re working alongside other churches in response to our multiplying call. It’s also a great Sunday to begin regularly asking God to raise up men and women who’ll help start and lead in the next wave of new churches. 
Northwest Church Planting is the church planting arm of the Alliance Northwest. We just launched a new website that unpacks the proven resources we have available to offer a church planting leader. On the site, you'll also find a number of simple ways to highlight church planting in your ministry area on Sunday Feb 25th. Visit at Also, here's a video from the National Office for that special Sunday.
I’m here to catalyze your church planting dreams. Feel free to let me know how I can help. 
Praying for all kinds of new churches and leaders to reach our “Judea and Samaria". 


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Northwest Church Planting

Year-end Anchor Church update marked by growth and partnership

A shot from a recent preview gathering at Anchor Church.

A shot from a recent preview gathering at Anchor Church.

We're celebrating alongside Anchor Church for the first 6 months of their life in Tacoma, Washington. Here are a few quick details about how the church continues to grow:

    50+ people (so far) have signed a covenant expressing their commitment to Anchor – that's up from 20 when their first weekly Sunday evening meetings began

    • Anchor currently has four "Anchor Groups", with the hopes of growing to six in January
    • A friendship is developing between Anchor and Young Life; YL recently held their 'All City Club" at Anchor Church
    • Renovations on the building continue; next steps are installing carpet and new A/V equipment
    • January will hold Anchor's first "Preview Gathering" to show neighboring community members what Anchor is all about, and what it will be once it officially launches
    Anchor renovations
    Anchor renovations

    Anchor is thankful for your continued support, and invites everyone to their preview gathering, January 28th, 10am.

    New Ground (Clarkston, WA) and The Living Room (Central Point, OR) begin weekly gatherings

    Bill Creutzberg, Lead Planter

    Bill Creutzberg, Lead Planter

    New Ground Alliance Church in Clarkston, Washington (lead planter Bill Creutzberg), held their first weekly gathering in late September and one hundred people attended. The church is particularly excited that there were thirty kids in their youth ministry.

    New Ground Alliance Church is a church planting project from the East Side Network (Paul Smith, Crosspoint Alliance Church; Rod Cosgrove, Garland Avenue Alliance Church; Terry Gugger, Orofino Community Church).

    Taken at one of The Living Room's neighborhood BBQ events

    Taken at one of The Living Room's neighborhood BBQ events

    The Living Room in Central Point, Oregon (lead planter Dan Gregory), held their first weekly gathering on October 1, after core team meetings and neighborhood BBQ events. They welcomed 79 people through its doors (64 adults and 15 littles).

    The Living Room is a church planting project from the Southern Oregon Network (Brian Crawford, Alliance Community Church; Lee Gregory, The Medford Neighborhood Church; Nathan Goble, Roseburg Alliance Church; Jeff Paschall, Journey Roseburg; Tim Skelly, Green Community Church; Glen Zimmerman, Eugene C&MA Church; Pieter Theron, South Umpqua Community Church; Joe Skladany, Veneta Alliance Church).