Several years ago I was working as a children’s ministry director for a small, inner city church in Flint, Michigan. (Yes, that Flint.) It might seem strange that on most Sundays I was the only white person in a predominately African American church, but I was on fire with a love for the people and acutely aware of the need that community of believers had for mature Christians with a heart for service. While serving there I was struck with a vision of what the Church – the bride of Christ – could be.
I envisioned the churches throughout Flint banding together in love, prayer and service to our community. I imagined how the city could change if we stepped out as Christ called us to, humbling ourselves, sacrificing, loving beyond the walls of our individual buildings. Unfortunately, at the time I was young and overwhelmed with the enormity of such an undertaking. I didn’t feel like I was equipped or had enough influence to take on the huge task of uniting thousands of believers in one of the most economically depressed, violent, broken cities in America.
In the ten years since then I’ve gotten married, had a baby, and moved – to another one of the most economically depressed, violent, broken cities in America. And now I’m a pastor. And I’m planting a church. To be honest, most days I don’t feel any more equipped than I was ten years ago. The task of shepherding God’s people still seems incredibly overwhelming. (If it didn’t, our vision would be too small and my pride would need some serious humbling.) But, it no longer seems impossible, because throughout this church planting journey I’ve discovered that we are anything but alone.
First and foremost, God is with us. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Act2 Community Church is HIS church and HIS plan for us. I can see all of the ministries and experiences He’s given us along the way to prepare us for this moment and this task. I can see how He’s moved to place us in positions I never would have considered on my own, but they’re a perfect fit for what He’s called us to and what He’s already led us through. And I see the people He’s placed in our lives to help us lay the foundations of the church.
We’ve been blessed by an incredible network of church planters and churches with a vision to plant and grow other churches. Men like Pastor Rob King and Pastor Jim Wiegand have wholeheartedly supported our vision and calling to Acts2 Community Church. The Michigan District (Pastor Jeff Hlavin, Pastor Curt Dalaba and Pastor Tom Forgo) have encouraged us, trained us, and put a whole lot of faith in us. And there’s been a great team of fellow church planters, from within our denomination and from other churches and denominations, who have answered countless questions, prayed innumerable prayers and offered advice and encouragement along the way. Where would we be without these people?
We were also honored when the Church of Saginaw invited Jason to be a part of their organization. This is a group of pastors and church leaders throughout Saginaw who meet monthly to pray for each other and our city, to build each other up and to embrace new ways of reaching the people of Saginaw. They cross denominational lines, cultural lines, socioeconomic and racial lines in recognition of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. They embody the unity that God calls us to as believers.
My heart is filled with hope that there are others out there who share the vision of growing the Body of Christ through our love for Him and our passion to see lives changed by the gospel. I’m not naive enough to think that we’ll ever overcome all of the differences that challenge the church, but I do believe the hand and the foot and the eyebrow and the ear and the kneecap and the elbow can still work together to serve His people with humility and grace. And I’m so excited to see how He will use me (I think I’m a bone inside the pinky finger), and Acts2 Community Church to love the people of Saginaw into His kingdom, and I pray that some day we can be “One Kingdom, under God, with grace and mercy for all.”
If you’re passionate about Jesus, if you’re passionate about people, if you’re passionate about growing the Kingdom of God, please consider partnering with us on this journey. Your prayers have sustained us, your gifts give us hope, and your participation makes it all possible. Thank you to everyone who has already joined us on the journey, and to everyone who will join us in the coming days. We couldn’t do this without you!
“…equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.”