Simple Church Planting

Theology Refresh: Podcast for Christian Leaders


It’s low-bar. It’s no frills. It’s a very simple model of planting, and challenges many of the prevailing notions about starting a new church.

You’d never have guessed that an academic dean and professor of Hebrew from a major seminary was behind it.

Miles Van Pelt has been in Jackson, Mississippi, for a decade. He teaches full-time at Reformed Theological Seminary. Over time, he and his family saw a need around them — people they knew who seemed interested in Jesus but were misfits with the local churches around them. From this need, a call emerged. While Miles still teaches full-time, he and his family now help in leading a church-planting team in a very simple start-up model.

The model? They show up on Sunday, preach the gospel, eat together, and try to get to know the people during the week and disciple them in specific gospel applications. They launched with no fundraising push or financial affiliations or denominational support. This is low-bar and no frills.

It’s not comfortable, and it’s not for everyone. But Miles and his family of six love it.

In this new episode of Theology Refresh, the Hebrew prof talks about his unusually simple model of church planting, and how it has served his family’s calling to their community in Jackson, as well as created avenues and opportunities for ministering together as a family like never before.

is professor of Old Testament and biblical languages and academic dean at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, and a pastor at the newly planted Grace Reformed Church. Miles and his wife, Laurie, have four children.