by Gerald Franks
Sunday morning, September 13, 2015. A day that change our family forever. It started out like every other Sunday in that we attended Sunday school and worship; but during the service, our pastor announced that our church would start working toward becoming a church planting church. There was no mention of location, only a general timeline – summer 2018. Our pastor then asked that members of the congregation prayerfully consider joining a team for this purpose. I instantly felt called to be a part. I believe it was the Holy Spirit who was stirring something in me. I looked over at my wife, Nancy, suggesting that I was interested, and she indicated that she was too. Immediately after the service I found Andy (our church planting pastor) and told him that we wanted to be involved.
Now, there were a few other factors that led us to this decision. This is where I see the providence of God at work as He placed people and events in our lives for His purpose:
- Pastor Andy: Andy Duke was the Youth Pastor at our church. He has a wife, Heather, and two kids, Ethan and Chloe. We had gotten to know Andy and his family very well over the previous 2-3 years. They were involved in our small group, where Andy would help lead discussion. Andy and I also served together as leaders of Trail Life, a Christian outdoor ministry for fathers and sons. So, when we heard that it was Andy leading the church plant, we knew he would be someone we could trust to lead us spiritually and pastor this church.
- Small Group/Discipleship: Knowing Andy well, we also knew that small groups and discipleship would be a central part of his vision for this new church. The idea of having gospel conversations and inviting people into our home excited us as well. We want to love others and serve them regardless of what they believe, share gospel truths with them, and investing in their lives, even if they never come to trust Christ. We are given the commands to love God, love others and make disciples, and we were confident that these ideas would be at the heart of this church plant.
- Church Planting Concept: The very nature of church planting is biblical. We see God’s Word spread in the book of Acts because of men like Paul and Barnabas who obeyed Christ’s Great Commission to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”. They trained up leaders and planted churches from Jerusalem to Rome. Churches should be sending people to “Go” and start other churches in areas where there is a need for the lost to hear God’s word. We are thankful to be a part of a sending church that recognizes this fact and supports it.
We are an ordinary family called to be obedient. All believers are called by God to go and make disciples. Some are simply called to go across the street and have a gospel conversation with their neighbor. Some are called to move across town and live life with an unengaged people group. Some are called to move across the state or even across the nation to plant a church where the gospel needs to be heard. And some are called to move to another country and reach out to an unreached people group. Either way, all believers are called to “Go” and share the good news of Jesus Christ.