Meet the Planter - Ben Blakey
Orange County, CA
Launch Date: 1/13/2019
Area of Town: Meridian - North, Eagle
Sending Church/Denomination: Compass Bible Church
Tell us your "story".
Throughout my college years, God started to call me into ministry. Upon graduating, I went to Compass Bible Church where I have served on the pastoral team for the last nine years in various capacities. Our church is always working to plant new churches, and for the last couple years I have been "on deck." Last year, my wife and I started to pray more earnestly about the "where" question. I wasn't expecting a Macedonian Call or anything, but I was asking God to open up a door in an area that needs a new church. God answered the prayer by pointing us to the Treasure Valley by showing us the growth, need, and opportunity here. I was already looking at a list of several growing areas (including Boise) but God started providing pointers to the Treasure Valley. One woman from our sending church "randomly" texted my wife that she had been praying for Boise every day for six months. We kept running into people from our church that wanted to move to Boise. Another pastor at my church who for years had been suggesting another location suddenly and vocally started urging Boise. Then I started to get in touch with people in the valley and got a sense of need for more of a gospel presence in this community. So far the biggest obstacle has been logistical. We have 15-20 families seeking to relocate to the Treasure Valley. This has presented many complications, but God is being gracious in working them out!
What is the greatest need you see in the valley that God is asking your church to meet?
The greatest need in the Treasure Valley is the gospel. The root cause of all the evils we see in this world stem from sin, and therefore the church must be bold and active in pointing people to the good news that Jesus Christ has overcome sin and death. As the population of the Treasure Valley continues to swell, so does the need for the gospel.
What is one thing you've learned about the valley (from a fresh set of eyes) that would help established local churches?
One of the first things I learned about the Treasure Valley (and was surprised to learn) was how fast it is growing. I hope this encourages and fires up the churches in the valley. We are fishers of men, and there are tens of thousands of fish swimming your way.
What have you seen God do so far within your community?
The most encouraging thing about our community so far has been its commitment to prayer. Shortly after we announced the plant (back in January) we started a weekly prayer meeting. This meeting has been faithfully attended all throughout the year. Now we even have two groups - one in Orange County and one in the Treasure Valley - that meet every week. We have already seen God answer prayers - can't wait to see him answer more!
Do you have or will you be looking for interns?
Yes, but not quite yet.
How can The City Network help your launch in its current phase?
Prayer would be great. Some of our people are still looking for jobs in the valley, so any helpful leads would be appreciated!