Around the Corner
By Sam McVay
North American Ministries (NAM) exists to equip and send church planters and chaplains to plant healthy churches and make disciples in North America. You may ask, why do we need more churches in North America? National statistics indicate nearly 50 Free Will Baptist churches close each year, and we lose 2,200 members. According to census data, the United States has grown by nearly 10 million people in the last five years.
We are going in the wrong direction. We should be planting more vibrant Free Will Baptist churches focused on making disciples for Christ. At the present rate of new church plants, we are not keeping up with the number of churches we are closing.
If the sheer numbers do not motivate your desire to see new churches planted, consider the following two reasons: first, the Great Commission commands us to reach our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Free Will Baptists always have been about reaching the lost with the gospel, and thousands of people live in neighborhoods without faithful, evangelistic, Bible-preaching churches.
Second, church planting has a profound impact on the local church. Research shows attendance grows significantly, as well as the tithes and offerings, when your congregation is involved in planting churches. Excitement grows as your people are encouraged by the growth of the new church plant as well as the growth in their own local church.
Let me share a few short stories from church planters describing how your investment in NAM is reaping eternal dividends.
Recently, in a conversation with our church planter, Logan Wolf, I learned Utah, where he serves, is the least-reached state in the country, with less than 2% Christians. The county/metro area where the Wolfs live is less than 0.5% Christian. Read what Logan shared about a recent outreach activity:
“We took a group of ten from our church to Brigham Young University for a dialogue with their interfaith club. By the time we arrived, more than 25 students filled the room, along with two professors. We broke into small groups and worked through a list of questions they allowed me to write. I was in a group with one professor, four students, and two women from our church, Darlene and Lucy, both former Mormons. It did not take long before Darlene boldly proclaimed Christ. She started telling her story of leaving Mormonism, having found no hope or peace there, and shared how she came to know the full forgiveness that comes through faith in Christ alone. What is more, this was happening ten times over across the room. Praise the Lord! We baptized more than a half dozen former Mormons in 2019.”
Rejoice with other church planters who shared:
“On Easter Sunday, three people accepted Christ in our online service.” —Stephen Kimbrell, Irvine, California
“Louis lived on the streets, dealt drugs, and ran prostitutes. He began attending our church with his girlfriend and wept during the services. A few months ago, Louis bowed his heart to Christ as his Lord and Savior. Now, he is growing and active.” —Daryl Grimes, Erie, Pennsylvania
“She said it just seemed like something was constantly drawing her back to Cultivate Church. That something drawing her was the Holy Spirit. Then, a few Sundays back, Robin gave her life to Jesus!” —Joel Franks, Athens, Alabama
“At Awaken Church, you know you not only have God on your side, you have a group willing to make you feel accepted when you do not feel accepted, with open arms regardless of what you have been through, where you come from, or where you thought you were headed. It’s wonderful!” —From the testimony of Ruben & Merri; submitted by pastors Josh Bennett and Shane Suggs, Tifton, Georgia
Space does not allow me to share all the stories of how God is using North American Ministries to make a difference in the lives of people who need the gospel. Your generous gift to the Mission North America Offering on November 22, 2020, supports the general fund, which,
in turn provides for office staff, conferences, recruitment,
assessment, training, coaching, managing church-planting teams, and more.
Your gift to this offering provides the support Free Will Baptist church planters need to do the work God has called them to do. We are counting on your generosity to help us Build Bridges to Carry the Gospel!
About the Writer: Sam McVay is church relations officer for Free Will Baptist North American Ministries. Learn more about church planting: fwbnam.com.