Pastor Dave Collins
Huron Hills SouthWest
Ann Arbor, MI
Dave Collins is the planting site pastor for Huron Hills SouthWest, the newest site of Huron Hills Church in Ann Arbor, MI. After over 15 years in college ministry, Dave sensed God's call into church ministry and was hired at Huron Hills Church as Associate Pastor. As the church discerned God's call towards church planting, Dave connected with the Converge Worldwide church planting community. He and Deb attended an assessment center and both realized that church planting was part of God's heart for them as a couple & family. Dave and Deb have 4 children, 2 at home, and 2 at college. Under the direction of their Lead Pastor, Ken White and the Huron Hills Church Board, they led a 3 year effort to launch Huron Hills SouthWest.
Huron Hills SouthWest had its public Grand Opening on March 17th, 2013. With an average total attendance of 125, we have already seen 11 commitments to Christ, and will hold our first public baptism later this spring. We began working towards this vision over 3 years ago, and we praise God for the good work He has done to bring us this far! Our initial Launch Team had about 35-40 adults and 10-15 kids. We have a weekly rental at a K-8th grade charter school near our target outreach area. Our dedicated set up team (which we call "The Muscle Team") moves in everything we need each weekend: chairs for worship (which we set up in the gym), Audio & Visual Tech systems, portable kids classrooms, and our mobile Connections Café.
From the very beginning, the most important aspect of church planting has been learning to live a life of outreach. We began every team meeting with sharing stories (or struggles) of outreach and prayer for those we know who are far from God. We spent hours in study and conversation about how we can become more invitational, and clarified that the most important "win" for us was the opportunities we have to invite others to church. We also had a high bar of expectation for launch team members including commitment to our mission, to the church, to our church leadership, to small groups, and to giving. We had a special offering from our sending site, which we now call "Huron Hills North" to help us get started, along with a matching grant from Converge Mid America.
We are so excited about seeing God at work: every newcomer is an answer to prayer, every invitation is an opportunity for prayer, and every commitment of any kind we cherish is a step closer to Jesus Christ. Along the way, training & networking within Converge has been vital for us from the 1-1 coaching from Michigan Church Planters, to regional training seminars directed by Gary Rohrmayer, to the national events such as Ignite. We are thankful to be part of a group of churches and believers so committed to reaching the lost!