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Eighteen years ago, Daniel and Tammie Floyd were living in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Daniel was pursuing graduate studies at Liberty University and Tammie was a middle school music teacher. Daniel had previously served as a youth and associate pastor at a church in Staten Island, New York, before moving to Virginia for further studies, expecting to return to ministry in an associate role after graduation. But God had other plans.

Three hours north, in Fredericksburg, a group of friends was planting a church, and they invited the Floyds to come help get the church off the ground. Although they were initially reluctant, God made it clear to the couple that He wanted them there, and they began making weekend treks to Fredericksburg, after a full week of classes for Daniel and teaching for Tammie.

They recall driving up on Friday afternoons, spending Saturdays doing outreach, service prep and team meetings. They would go hard all day on Sunday, setting up and tearing down for worship services in a school auditorium. Daniel preached, Tammie helped lead worship and they returned to Lynchburg in the evening to start the week all over again.

After a year, they moved to Fred-ericksburg, along with their friends Jeremy and Jennifer Pickwell, who served on staff with them at the church for 15 years before being sent out to plant Alinea Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Less than a year after the move, they welcomed their first child, Owen. Since then, the Floyds have added three more to the family: Faith, Abigail and Jonas.

Lifepoint grew to two permanent campuses in Fredericksburg and three that meet in high schools in Culpeper, Glen Allen and Stafford, Virginia—not to mention, several church plants. In 2016, the church started Lifepoint College, offering an associate’s degree in Ministerial Leadership. Through its partnership with Southeastern University, Lifepoint also offers a variety of accredited associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree options.

As the church has grown, Daniel and Tammie have maintained a focus on reaching the lost in their community and multiplying their influence by training and mentoring leaders to plant churches with a similar focus. It was this passion that made their connection with ARC eight years ago a natural one.

A relationship with ARC has brought them into a family of churches and leaders that share their DNA. It’s created opportunities to learn from others who are even further along than they are, and it has also allowed them to multiply their impact by pouring into other church planters who are just starting their journeys.

AVAIL sat down with Daniel and Tammie to hear their story and some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way. From the new challenges of social media comparison, to the age-old pressures of balancing family and church leadership, there are countless opportunities for failure. But the biggest mistake, they would argue, is one that no one needs to make: doing ministry alone.


AVAIL: As you’ve been mentoring church planters and their spouses, how have things changed since you started Lifepoint in 2005?


DANIEL: I think two major diff er-ences from when we started are relationships and resources. In 2005, there didn’t seem to be as many resources available to planters. If there were, I was unaware of how to access them. Now, there are so many people willing to help. More valuable than a system is a person who is in your corner and is willing to walk with you. Also, we’re talking more now about relationships and family. I think it’s birthed out of a desire that I want my family to come on this whole journey with me. I want to be a great dad, a great husband, wife, mom. It’s the integration of the whole family into the ministry. I don’t want to pit one against the other. I hear people say they want to do well in this area of family and marriage, which I think is really encouraging.


TAMMIE: The main thing that’s dif-ferent now is that when we started, we didn’t have social media. So, we were content because we weren’t comparing, “Well, this church has this, and we don’t.” We just experienced that there was always growth happening, although it wasn’t every Sunday. We were just thrilled with even the little early on, because it was like, “God is moving, and this is so incredible.” That was the heart behind it: Even if it’s just for one person, we’re going to keep going. I think, to piggyback on what Daniel said, there’s such a fight now in a good way for ministry kids to stay connected to the body of Christ, to still love the local church and also still love their parents. And more importantly than all of that, to grow up in a Christian home and still have Jesus as the center of their lives when they leave.


AVAIL: How do your roles fit together at Lifepoint—where do they overlap, and where are they unique?


DANIEL: It’s ever-changing, and a lot of that has to do with the needs of the church—and, more importantly, needs of the family. It’s never, “Set it and forget it.” I would be the primary communicator on the weekends. I would have the primary vision, strategy and leadership. I’m kind of naturally drawn to that. I geek out over that. It doesn’t mean that I don’t do pastoral care. It’s both/and, but Tammie’s first response is to think people and not systems. So, she’s definitely—as a friend of ours just said—“the mother of the house.” She’s going to know your story, know your name. She brings a lot of that into how she communicates, leads our women’s conference, leads on staff health, staff culture, staff families. These are all the big things that are on her priority list.


TAMMIE: When we first planted the church, we didn’t have kids yet, so I was one of the main worship leaders. That was the role that I served in our church. I was not on staff , but I was a volunteer serving. Once we had Owen, then I had to step out of all of that for a season. So you have to decide, whatever season you’re in, what areas you’re going to be involved in. It’s going to change based on your season. Our staff is large, and we have staff families that are young, and my heart is that they stay integrated as a family in this really wonderful and intense call of ministry on our lives.


AVAIL: I think a lot of pastors or church planters might be envious of the resources you have as a large church, now that Lifepoint has grown. But you’ve talked about how, as you grow, you can become more risk averse than when you were small and scrappy and didn’t have as much to lose.


DANIEL: I think it was Erwin McManus who said if we’re not careful, the blessing of God becomes the very thing that keeps us from receiving the next blessing God wants to give us because we hold so tightly to the previous one. I’ve experienced how that can happen over time. When you’re young, you have nothing to lose. But then you get more people on staff, you’re responsible for more things, God gives you facilities and now those things cost. There’s more at stake, more people depending on you, and if you’re not careful, you lose that faith and being willing to risk. I think every so often—not everyday—you need to be a leader that creates instability. There has to come some moments that you can look back and go, “We did it again. We sought wisdom, but we pushed all our chips to the middle of the table again and said, ‘God, it’s all still yours. It’s not ours. It wasn’t ours, and it still isn’t ours. We are simply stewards.’”


AVAIL: Lifepoint is a multisite church. Can you tell us a bit about that journey?


DANIEL: We actually went multisite while we were still without a building and were multisite in two portable locations. We launched our second campus in 60 days from decision to execution. Then it became part of strategy, and I use the word strategy loosely because we’re more opportunistic than we are strategic. I think the one area we’re strategic is in resources—stewarding that well, living with margin, not using everything that comes in so that when God creates opportunity, we’re able to respond. I never wanted us to be a church that had to get up and twist people’s arms to be generous or had to be the church that if you don’t give, we can’t do this. I just thought let’s manage what God gives us in a wise way, put smart people around the table, live with a whole lot of margin so that when God opens the doors, we can walk through those doors.


AVAIL: So, what does that look like today?


DANIEL: The long-term goal is to continue to open locations around the state of Virginia. In addition to that, we have a heart for church planting. The phrase I use is, “Our goal isn’t more seating capacity but more sending capacity.” Can we raise up and multiply leaders that go out and plant churches? That means having staff that feel called to church planting. So now we’re not only opening campuses, but opening family churches that are planted, sent out and supported by us. We have Lifepoint family churches currently in Stuttgart, Germany; Louisville, Kentucky; and Norfolk, Virginia. In these churches, the couple on the ground do the preaching and leading, but they carry our name, our way, our culture and our spirit. And we’ll be announcing another new one soon.


AVAIL: In 2016 you launched Lifepoint College. Where does that fit into your vision?


DANIEL: I think it’s the youth pastors in us. We love young people, and so it started out as an intern-ship program that we just wanted to use to invest and build into leaders, to affirm and develop when we saw the call of God on a young person’s life. Through a series of God events, we were able to formalize it into a college. It’s our heart to be a part of answering that prayer that Jesus prayed to raise up laborers for the harvest fields. We’ve been able to place people and send them into ministry. We have children’s pastors, campus pastors, worship leaders, people serving in all kinds of different roles. Historically, ministry training was tied to the local church. And then it got away from that with more liberal arts education—which we’re grateful we both benefited from. But I think we’re seeing a turn back to churches that care about academics. This isn’t little Bible studies in the class-room. This is a rigorous academic but also hands-on practical ministry training experience. Some of our students go on and fi nish their four-year degree. Some decide they’re good with the two-year program and want to get into ministry. What I know from my own experience, with all the education I went through, is they leave our two-year program with more hours of hands-on ministry experience than I left with after all my degrees.


AVAIL: You’ve been a part of ARC for the last eight years. Can you tell us about how that relationship came to be?


TAMMIE: Daniel’s dad was a pastor and a part of a denomination. My dad was a chaplain in the Air Force and is a part of a denomination. For both of them, that gave them a community or a tribe with whom they could connect. Being a non-denominational church, that was missing for us. We felt a little like we were on an island and wanted a larger community we could connect with relationally. 


DANIEL: We were not looking for denomination, but we were looking for like-minded relationships where we could do life and accomplish the mission of planting churches that were life-giving and reaching the lost. A friend of mine said, “You really need to check out ARC.” Jeremy, who started the church with us, and I went to an ARC conference. This is no joke: I’m sitting in the first session in Jacksonville, the worship starts, I’m looking around, I hear vision and what they’re about: planting life-giving churches in every city in America. I texted Tammie and said, “I found our people. I feel like I’ve got family that I haven’t met yet.”


AVAIL: What would you say to someone who’s going it alone in church planting and may not see the benefit of being part of a relational network?


DANIEL: Everyone needs ministry, and everyone needs community and rela-tionship. I also think everybody needs to be a part of the mission of planting churches. I think back over some of the challenges of ministry. If we had still been out on our own, I think we would’ve stumbled, and those relationships saved us so much.


TAMMIE: I really believe with all my heart that it has accelerated our ministry, and it has accelerated our influence in our communities for the kingdom. Who would not want to be with a group of people that have gone before you and have already experienced the things that you’re now expe-riencing at any stage? When we came into ARC, we were 10 years old, and to be connected with others that are 15, 20, 30 years in ministry, and their kids are grown and they love Jesus, and their kids love them and the house of God—that’s where it felt like air in our lungs when we found ARC.


AVAIL: You’re a little different in that you came into ARC not as a church plant but as an established, multisite congregation. Was that a different experience?


TAMMIE: We adopted our youngest, Jonas, at five days old. He literally came to our doorstep. It’s a beautiful story, but at first sight of him, it was instant love, as if I had birthed him myself. There was this divine, supernatural love for our son, and it didn’t matter that I didn’t have him for those nine months leading up to his birth. That’s how I feel about ARC. Because we are not an ARC church plant, but we were adopted, grafted into this family, and have always felt loved from Day 1 as if we had gone through the whole process. It’s like there is this family out there for you that has open hands, ready to just love and share and support and encourage, because we really are better together.

This article was featured in the Fall 2023 AVAIL Journal.

Read the full AVAIL Journal Digital Edition →

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