Friday, May 23, 2014

Meet Brian Fulton

Brian Fulton (brown sweater) with Gospel Community leaders
and a few key members (mentioned below)
One of my great privileges as Director of the Global Center is to connect with Beeson alumni serving in other parts of the world and/or the country.  Earlier this week I was able to connect with Brian Fulton ('07) and get a glimpse into what God is doing through his life and ministry in Chicago.

Brian works with Missio Dei and has planted a church in the neighborhood of Lincoln Square. While the church as a whole meets weekly for worship, their emphasis is on the smaller gatherings, or "Gospel Communities." They define these communities as "a family on Jesus's Mission together." I attended a meeting while I was there with some leaders from these groups and key members from one group in particular. It was a very encouraging time to be a part of watching a Beeson alumnus have to deal delicately with a church problem. A good problem, that is. The group is growing too much.

I watched Brian ask the group all the right questions about what God was doing and where He was leading. The members of the group continually expressed how grateful they were for what God has been doing in their group over the last six months. Through vulnerability and a deeper understanding of the gospel, they have developed a strong bond as a local family of believers. Now, in order to reach out to others and to keep groups to a size where vulnerability and closeness can continue to flourish, they know they will soon need to multiply. As they prayed over the situation there was a strong sense of joy mixed with angst over the possibility of losing regular contact with all of the group.

Brian didn't push towards any decision. He simply asked them to continue praying over the situation and didn't give any time frame over when to decide whether or not to divide so they can multiply. Mutual love and trust was evident in the room.  For me it was an encouraging time to see God working in the city.

Brian and his wife, Ashley, are both from Alabama. They have two beautiful little girls, Naomi and Cora (4 and 2).  While they are doing well, they have certainly had their share of heartache recently. In the past year they have lost three grandparents between them and Brian's father died as well. Please keep them in your prayers and ask the Lord to keep their family strong as well as to further the advance of the kingdom in Chicago!

In Christ,

David