In June 2021, Patrick Chandler and Andrew Kappenman were sent out from Citylight to a Florida church in the Salt Network. The goal? To plant a Citylight Church alongside the Salt Network in Florida.
“We felt God leading us to Florida and Citylight said instead of hosting residency here in Omaha, let’s send you to Florida and host residency there so that you will be in close proximity to what city you will ultimately plant in,” shared Patrick. “We are dreaming about what God is doing and in what city and university God is calling us to. Over the last seven months Andrew and I have both moved down to Florida for a 2 year residency and already God has provided so much. He has provided each of our families housing, neighbors, resources, and meeting centers to host city groups.”
For the next two years, Patrick and Andrew will be serving on staff at Salt Church UF, learning the Salt Co. network vision and tools for planting in a similar community.
“We are also getting to know the college community while we are here,” Andrew described. “We are doing mission trips to campus, we are in the preaching rotation for Thursday nights at Salt Company as well as Sunday mornings at Salt Church. We are hosting connection groups and leading D-groups as well. We are doing college ministry now so that we will know how to lead our Salt Co. staff better in the future. We get to know what students are going through in this season and ask how we can love and care and encourage students.”
“It also helps us to be in the same town,” Andrew continued sharing. “Closer proximity together, families doing life together. We were roommates in college, our wives were roommates in the dorms. We got to serve on staff together at a church after college. We are now living in FLorida, living life as families, and with the prayer that God will do more.”
Since this fall, both Patrick and Andrew have seen students come to Christ, multiple students baptized, and saw the largest kick-off ever at their local university campus.
As they both continue taking steps forward in God’s calling, they both offer words of encouragement to fellow residents.
“Be faithful,” Patrick strongly suggested. “Just be faithful to what God puts in front of you. Trust His timing and just because you are feeling a calling, if God hasn’t provided an opportunity, don’t think He is lying about the calling. Rest in Him and His timing to know God is faithful. As hard as it is to wait, we would have started running at first if we were instead writing this story. But God said to go slower and sent us to residency. That was a gift from God that we didn’t even know but needed but God gave to us. Ask the question ‘What gift does God have for you that would be an encouragement in your journey?”
As they look ahead, Patrick and Andrew both ask for prayer as their families will have to transition again and move to a new city in Florida.
Andrew added, “God’s timing isn’t always our timing. God doesn’t call you to a time but rather to obedience. We are called to be obedient right now. His timing is perfect and we just have to follow it. Trusting Him and what He is doing in our lives at this moment is the goal.”