Exploratory Trip: December 2017

View of Wilmington from the Cape Fear Bridge

The New Year is here! As we look back over this past year we can’t help but lift up our voices in praise to our Father who has been so faithful to us.   In 2017 we graduated from the Sovereign Grace Pastors College, passed our ordination exams, began our church planting residency at CrossWay Community Church, took a number of exploratory trips to Wilmington, and began building our launch team – all while preparing our families to move to Wilmington. Lord willing, we’ll do so sometime in May and will launch Sovereign Grace Church of Wilmington in the fall. We have so much to be thankful for, and we are anticipating watching the Master Builder uphold His promise to build His church in 2018!

Healthy, But in Need

We wanted to update you about our December exploratory trip to Wilmington that we took in mid-December.  Each time we arrive in Wilmington we feel more and more at home due to the connections we have had the privilege of making.  Joshua and I have made some great friends and, Lord willing, ministry partners.  God truly is doing a great gospel work in Wilmington and we can’t wait to join in!  On this last trip we met Jay, the director of RUF (Reformed University Fellowship), and heard about how God is moving in the lives of the college students at UNCW.  We also had the honor of meeting Sam, a native of Wilmington who also happens to be one of the pastors at a church in Wilmington.  Joshua and I put some specific questions together for these men in order to better understand the culture and gain wisdom on what parts of Wilmington are in need of a church plant.  We learned that there are a number of good churches faithfully preaching Christ, but that there is still much work to be done in the city to bring Jesus to lost people.

It was also a joy getting to meet Jordan, a college student at Boyce College in Louisville, KY who is a member at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.  Jordan is also a native of Wilmington and offered us a lot of insight regarding church culture there, making us more aware of how much God’s people would benefit greatly by an additional expositional preaching church in the city.  We walked away hopeful – not only for Wilmington but also hopeful that he might come back home after graduation and join the church plant! (Joking, kinda!)

Gospel Partnership

The second day there we had two meetings. The first was with Geoff, who is the high school director at Port City Community Church.  He and I share a lot of life experience, and hearing him sounded as if I was hearing my story all over again. It is amazing to see how God the Spirit pursued and rescued him from a life of addiction and rebellion and brought him to the Savior.  He had a lot to share with us about the various rehabilitation ministries in Wilmington and how his church has been involved in pushing back the darkness with the gospel of Christ.  We look forward to reconnecting with this dear brother again very soon.

In the second meeting, we had lunch with Matt Morehead, the senior pastor of Crossway Chapel, and Jim Desmond, an elder in training who also owns his own construction company.  Matt has been so faithful to care for us, not only in hospitality but also through his example of servant-hearted leadership.  Both men gave us a lot of insight into the city and guidance in thinking about strategic locations there.  When we spoke with Jay and Sam the day before, upon mentioning Matt they said, “If you’re going to come to Wilmington and plant a church that’s doing what Crossway Chapel is doing, we will heartily welcome you.”  Well, that’s our desire! We want to be a church plant that brings the hope of the gospel to people far away from God in Wilmington, so that they become disciples who in turn make disciples in their homes, neighborhood, and city.   It was a joy ending our trip with these men because we can definitely see future partnerships in the gospel with Crossway Chapel and other like-minded churches.

Conclusion

As we look forward to 2018, we are reminded that times, seasons, culture, presidents, and governments all change.  What remains the same throughout every generation is that our God – the one who promised to seek and save the lost – never changes (Jam. 1:17).  It is on Him that we have set our hope for this church plant and the people who need Christ in Wilmington.  Lean hard on Him, brothers and sisters. He will never be moved!

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Wilmington (Acts 17:26-27)
  • Pray for God to build a Launch Team (Acts 13:1-3)
  • Pray for the target group in Wilmington in need of a church plant (Acts 16:6-10
  • Pray for Joshua’s time at the quarterly church planter cohort, that he might learn much and bring back helpful tools to our team (Eph. 3:14-21)
  • Pray for our preaching assignments: Joshua at Crossway Community Church (January 21st) and Aaron at Sovereign Grace of Apex (January 28th). (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
  • Pray for unity between our families (Eph. 4:1-3, 25-32)
  • Pray for Joshua and I to consider each other more significant than ourselves (Phil. 2:1-5)

 

 

 

 

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