Church Planter Profile: JON GERACI // Declaration Church

1. In a nutshell, how did you find the city you planted in? 

My father-in-law planted a Calvary in the Charleston area in 2007. My wife and I helped him for 2 years with the intention of church planting in Boulder Colorado after we helped him. God shut the door on that idea quickly.
It didn’t make sense on paper, but we decided to leave everything we knew and were familiar with in Colorado to Church plant in a city that was in need of God’s word to be amplified (and keep in mind we did this with a 2 year old and newborn baby).
Mount Pleasant was always on the forefront of my heart.  I’ve always had a burden for the people in the South and I knew the city was in need of a verse-by-verse bible-teaching church. We took the leap of faith and have seen tremendous fruit come from it.
I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of people who’ve NEVER heard of a church that does expositional teaching through the entire Bible.

2. What were some of the lessons you learned early on about church planting?

I’ve concluded that church planting is like being a being a parent. I like to pretend I know what I’m doing, but let’s be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing! It’s only by God’s grace I make it each day.
Every preconceived idea I had for church planting was shattered. I’m not kidding. It was as if God took all my ideas and chucked them away. But the beauty of all this was that God’s plans were so much better than my ideas. I fail so often to forget that Jesus is able to impart power and give exceedingly and abundantly all that I could ever ask or even think.
The hard lesson I learned is to not limit a limitless God.  The sooner I realized that was the moment the Lord paved the way for Declaration Church and everyone who was coming. God truly does give grace to the humble.

The hard lesson I learned is to not limit a limitless God.

3. If you did this again, what are a few things you’d do differently?

To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything. We faced more trials and attacks from the enemy when we started. And don’t get me wrong, the enemy is relentless and never ceases. He continues to attack because I know, and I believe with all my heart that he is aware that we are becoming an unstoppable force for the kingdom.
I wouldn’t change anything because despite the trials we faced as a church, and as a family, I know “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”

4. What are some of the most important things for a potential church planter to consider before they leave to go plant?

If we expect God to do a great work, then prayer and fasting ought to be expected as well. This is vital. I thank God for the months before that my wife and I spent in prayer and fasting as we prepared for the hardest adventure of our lives.
Also, if you can, find seasoned pastors who have gone through what you’re going through now. Call them, write them, ask them to share their battle scars with you when they planted. I’m thankful for all the pastors from all around the country who were able to pour wisdom into my life before we started Declaration Church.
ALSO, never forget that the church is what it is today because of the faithfulness of the Pastor’s wife to follow their crazy husbands!
In the same way, find as many Pastors’ wives as you can and ask them to pour wisdom into your wife. Ask them what it was like when they had to uproot their family and go to a place they were unfamiliar with. Ask them to share battle scars and how it strengthened their marriage as they in faith followed.
Last but not least, write everything down. You read correctly, I want you to start a Man Journal. The best way to never forget Gods faithfulness is to write down everything He did through the beginning, middle and end process. Church planting can be discouraging and lonely sometimes, but when I read back on old entries in my journal, it strengthens my faith every time. Jesus was with me every moment.

If we expect God to do a great work, then prayer and fasting ought to be expected as well.

5. You just celebrated one year as a church, what’s in store for Year 2?

God is going to do a great work this year. I believe our church is going to see an increase in evangelism, discipleship, outreach and salvation to a generation of people that are stuck in traditionalism.
We’ve spent the last year training and equipping our church for battle. I believe more than ever that we are going to see God move powerfully through the state of South Carolina. To be honest, I never thought our church would be where it’s at after the 1st year. I can’t even begin to fathom what Jesus is going to do this next year.
To God be the glory that I get to be apart of this great work.
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Learn more about Pastor Jon and Declaration Church at declarationchurch.com.

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