Ten years ago, I never would have guessed I would be here today. However, in retrospect, I can see God’s footprints all over the road to Arlington Heights.
I grew up in Iowa. I went to church because it was right across the street from our house, and I wanted to be in the choir. Kim grew up in Michigan. She went to church because Mom could put the girls on the church bus and get some sleep on Sunday morning. As we got older, we both wandered from the church, but God kept nudging us back. Eventually, some dear friends invited us to Iowa City Church of Christ. We turned them down many times, but they were persistent, so we finally broke down and went. Thus began our lifelong love affair with God and
In June, Kim and I will have been married 25 years. We were baptized together on New Year’s Day, 1989. We grew along with this church, and our newborn son’s first outing was the groundbreaking for our new building. I eventually became a deacon, and about twelve years
ago, I began to lead the worship ministry in Iowa City. It didn’t take long in that role before God began to draw me into full-time ministry.
Since 2005, at Washington Christian Church, Washington, IL, I was responsible for worship, small groups, discipleship, adult education, and outreach. Kim worked for Bradley University in Peoria, and was also a student there. Kim has been on several boards and aided many charitable efforts. I finished my degree at Lincoln Christian University, and God began to give me a heart for preaching and for the unchurched. I also felt drawn to church planting, but we didn’t want to uproot our kids while they were still in high school.
Now our kids are grown – our son, Ed, graduated in December with a BA in film and video from Columbia College Chicago and is a budding professional fashion photographer, and our daughter, Janelle, is studying cosmetology at Paul Mitchell in Normal and is a singer/songwriter
and front-woman of the band The Black Roses. Now that they are at least semi-independent, we have formed this alliance with the wonderful folks at Ignite Church Planting.
What Drew Us to Arlington Heights?
We loved the idea of planting in Chicago, partly because it is roughly in the middle of our families, and partly because, while being a crazy, bustling megalopolis, it still maintains its Midwest flavor, so it was a good fit – familiar feel and lots of “lost” people.
I am shocked by how underchurched the northwest suburbs are. In Arlington Heights, there are 75,000 people and only about 30 active churches. This means that, for some reason, even though the people who live there are lovely and friendly and socially conscious, they are not
going to church.
There are obviously tons of people who no longer see the need or the importance or the relevance of the church. And like most affluent communities, the residents feels like they are “doing pretty well,” and comfortable people often feel like they don’t have much need for the
things of God. But I am also finding the same brokenness and loneliness I have seen everywhere I have lived.
What Are We Finding In Arlington Heights?
One believer told me he had been searching three years for a place to experience real connection with other believers and was completely unsuccessful. At most churches, his family could come and go completely unnoticed. He described Quest Church as, “exactly what he had been looking for and exactly what Arlington Heights needs.”
Another suggested that most of the churches in Arlington Heights are overly traditional and can feel somewhat closed off. He believed that a church that tried to connect with the marginalized might really resonate. This is what we hope Quest Church will do. This guy especially thought
that the artists and creators in Arlington Heights have little use for the existing expressions of religion in the village, but thought our approach might really strike a chord with them.
Arlington Heights is starving for something new. We hope that rather than a “cooler” version of the same old thing, Quest Church will provide a radically new expression of Christian community. We will meet in living rooms and coffee shops, bars and restaurants, and anywhere else he leads, in order to find the hearts he is preparing even now. We plan to create a place of connections, second chances and grace, and we hope to show that Christ still changes lives, heals brokenness, and connects with people.
ED & KIM TAYLOR
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