As an update in the development of CrossPollination Ministries:
I am now partnering with Rev. Randy Wilken (LCMS) in St. Louis, MO. Randy and I were classmates at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis back in the late 90's. Randy was a construction manager prior to enrolling in the seminary. He has renovated two churches during the past 10 years (while revitalizing their worshipping communities) and is now working on a third church.
My wife Kelly and I will continue to reside in Dallas. I will typically be in St. Louis a couple weeks each month. I have pretty much stopped traveling to other cities. Our new model of ministry is training people via offering "Immersion Excursions" in St. Louis. These experiences range from 3 hours to 10 days.
Although we are focused on a particular community in St. Louis, we are planning Immersion Excursions in Laredo, TX (and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico) this summer and Venice Beach in Southern California in the fall. We are open to other non-St. Louis venues on an occasional basis.
I focus on discipling university and seminary students to engage their friends and their communities with the Gospel. Randy focuses on planting the church and leading the reconstruction effort on a beautiful 100+ year old church (St. Peter's Lutheran). We are bringing groups into St. Louis from across the U.S. Some groups focus on reconstruction, others focus on evangelism, some do a 50/50 construction/evangelism mission experience.
The community around the church we are planting (the church is now called "The Rock") is very receptive. They are hungry for the Gospel. I have not seen anything like this and I have witnessed to many people in many different settings. Follow up in the community happens naturally. People spend time on their front porches, back alleys, etc. so we see our neighbors regularly as we prayer walk the area.
People in the neighborhood are telling their friends about the new church. The entire community is excited about our presence in their neighborhood. Even those who have no intention of ever going to church appreciate us. Reconstructing the building and the planting the church in their community is helping reduce drug traffic and crime in general. Residents of the neighborhood are coming to us to ask how they can help The Rock grow.
I hope that you can visit us and/or send a team to partner with us for 1 to 10 days. We can accommodate groups ranging from a single person up to groups of 40+ participants. We can accommodate age groups ranging from middle school to 80+ years old.
Peace and Grace,
Pastor Brad Aldrich
c/o Acts 1:8 Mission Society
1126 S. Kingshighway Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63110
Bonus Material - Ripening Fruit