I have had the pleasure to serve as the Executive Director for two years. I also turn 40 years old in two weeks and celebrate my 20-year spiritual birthday the same week. So, suffice it to say, I’m in a bit of a nostalgic mood currently. This letter is “The Praetorian Project from My Perspective”.
I was there when the Praetorian Project was just an idea. Several of us were a part of the first Pillar Church, Pillar Church of Dumfries, and we knew God was calling us to plant churches. We loved the DNA of Pillar Church and we wanted to plant churches near other Marine Corps bases with similar DNA.
“Wouldn’t it be cool that, when members from your church move, they could be a part of my church and vice versa?” This was one of the thoughts that sparked the idea. I was still on active duty so, after exciting conversations like these, I would go back to work for the week while Clint Clifton and Colby Garman got to work planning. The next time I saw them, they laid out the plan for “The Ooh-Rah Initiative”. I think I listened patiently to the plan. It was a good idea.
But when the time came, I had to speak up: “Guys, we can NOT call it the Ooh-Rah Initiative”. To this day, I contend this is the most helpful thing I have brought to our work together. Thankfully, Colby saved us with the name “Praetorian Project” and we were off and running.
The first goal that we established was to plant 4 churches: Northern Virginia, Eastern North Carolina, Southern California, and the islands of Japan. We thought it would take a couple of decades. It took about five years.
We went from one church to nine churches in seven years. We had expanded our vision from the Marine Corps to all military services. We were in two countries, three time zones, and the wheels were starting to wobble.
Clint Clifton saw the wobbling first. He felt like we needed to build some trellis to support the growing vine. Ultimately, Clint’s sounding the alarm led to my hiring as the Executive Director to provide some direction and oversight to our work together.
Two years ago, I set out to wrap my mind around our work together. I had been thinking about it for our entire existence, but never in the dedicated way that I have been afforded recently. If I can boil my thoughts down into two things I would like you to know about the Praetorian Project they are these: who we are and what we do.
Who We Are:
The Praetorian Project is a family of multiplying churches in military communities worldwide.
What We Do:
1) We facilitate long-term discipleship of highly transient people.
2) We advance the Gospel by multiplying churches.
Honestly, I think we’re just getting started. In a few months, we will plant our tenth church in Stafford, Virginia. We are already looking towards a couple of church plants for next year. All of our churches are determined to advance the Gospel by multiplying themselves. I look forward to what is next, and I am thankful for each of you.
I love you guys,
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