…by Kevin McHugh
It’s always great to spend an entire service talking about church planting. I love the fact that Suncrest is an outward reaching church and holds on strong to this value. It is a fundamental reason my family has found a church home here; we feel we’re part of something big and we feel that we’re a part of a body that is making a difference. After all, our mission statement is short and sweet “Being used by God to change lives.” Church planters and those who support them are fulfilling that mission.
A couple things that were news to me: First, while I knew our founding Pastor John Wasem was passionate about church planting, I did not realize he insisted on planting another church before we did anything to have our own building. Second, I was surprised to hear how unchurched the areas are where Doug and Jared are going – if you had asked me to guess, I would have been off by a long shot. Moore, Oklahoma for example; conservative God-fearing area, right? 79% of Oklahomans do not attend church and it’s 90% in the area the Gambles have targeted. Then there’s Barrow County, Georgia, new stomping grounds for the Mehrles, which is right in the heart of the Bible belt, so why go there? Another misconception since only 12% of the locals attend church.
The update for Liberia was amazing. I noticed that several different places were mentioned – Ganta, Senji, and Monrovia, and multiple pastors and leaders appeared on the video. These are all leaders and churches that Suncrest has helped get off the ground and now more people are hearing the message of Jesus. These leaders are truly “being used by God to change lives”. In Liberia, the need is more complicated given the deep poverty and aftermath of a long and brutal civil war; other resource needs have to be met, children need schools, and leaders need to be developed – it is so cool to play even a small part in this work.
Hopefully everyone who heard Greg’s message will respond in some way to ratchet up their current support to the mission of church planting. Don’t want to listen to Greg Lee? (really we all do, Greg!) In any case, here’s what our Lord Jesus has to say about it:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.“ Acts 1:8
“therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the mane of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20