As we look back on 2016, we can clearly state that it has been a year where God has shown great favor to starting new churches in Send Detroit. Over the past 12 months there have been seven new church starts: Redeemer Community Church, Crossover Church, Heart and Soul Community Church, Life-Giver Church, Restoring Hope Church, The Church at Clawson and Victory Fellowship Harper Woods.
There are so many great stories with church plants in Detroit! Crossover Church had a strong launch in September, with 200 plus just had their first baptismal service of 4 people after being 4 months in to their plant. Life-Giver’s first baptism was Pastor Alin’s mother who was shortly after reunited to his father! Mile City celebrated one year in September with over 20 baptized in the first year, preparing to launch a new church within a year, and has over 80% of its body connected in small groups. Sameer Kabul* had Christmas Party to Muslims, Buddhists and partners stepped up to help. Even a Jewish, Holocaust survivor was saved this December through the ministry of John Denson and Congregation Shalom.
Vision Tours: This year Detroit hosted 6 total Catch the Vision (CTV) Tours with 24 church represented (13 mobilized currently) and 42 participants. In October, primary partners Guy Melton and Gary Jared hosted our first “CTV32”, a special vision tour where churches new to church planting partnerships have ground expenses covered. On this tour, 14 churches were represented among 26 participants. Of those churches 9 have been mobilized. One of those new partners helped make Sameer’s* Christmas party a reality. In 2016 we added a total of 14 new sending churches and 27 new supporting churches, which brings our current number of partnerships to 29 sending, 64 supporting churches.
Send Relief played a major factor in creating a ministry base for 3 of our current church planters as flood recovery and rebuilding efforts ended, in July after 18 months of having a unit staged in Warren, MI at a vacant elementary school. Also, in June, First Spanish Baptist Church of Detroit was able to host the Mobile Dental Unit on site in June to help persons in need of dental care.
Our Coaching Network continues to grow as we added 18 new coaches at the second One-Day MAP Coaching Training in November. We also held our first Coaching Intensive for 9 current coaches to build on their coaching skills to work toward the goal of delivering great coaching to every church planter.
The Planter Care Ministry has been another central feature to fostering unity among the church planting families of Detroit. We have been blessed to see great attendance and fellowship at our 2016 events: Family Retreat at Castaway Bay (Feb., 40 people), Wives Spa Day (May, 15 planter wives), Mystery Dinner Theatre (Sept., 9 couples), Family Day at Three Cedars Farm (Oct, 64 adults and kids). In December, Michigan Baptists (BSCM) hosted a Frankenmuth Winter Retreat, where 7 Detroit couples went to be enriched in their marriage by BSCM staff and Brian and Amy Bloye of Westridge Church.
Answered Prayers! We are continually amazed at how God answers the prayer of Luke 10:2. Priority planting areas are continually being given laborers, Canada was priority, now there are 3 active plants there! Not only that, The Gathering (Garth & Patty Leno) is an Annie Armstrong featured church plant! The Gathering has experienced amazing growth, sending capacity demonstrated by the grace of God through multiplication into Sarnia, ON (The Bridge Gathering, Cecil and Jayne Cogswell) and generous giving back to missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (CDN $13,000) and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (CDN $10,000)! Muslim populations are being reached by two MB planters.
Please Pray for Detroit: As we look to 2017, please continue to pray for laborers in the following cities, Amhurstburg, ON, Waterford, MI and the Rivertown area of Detroit. Also, pray for church planters who will be preparing for launches this year: Chad Nelson of The Journey Church (Mt. Clemens), Alin Patularu of Life-Giver Church (Windsor), Stephen Murphy of Victory Fellowship, (Madison Heights) and Corey Parker of The City Church (Ypsilanti). Please also pray that the Lord would send the necessary partners needed as sending and supporting churches who will help see that these church plants would be sustained.
We continue to covet your prayers, partnership and advocacy for Detroit as we are witnessing it live up to the motto “rise from the ashes.”
Register here for one of our upcoming vision tours so that you can see how you or your church an be used of God to help penetrate lostness and plant churches in Metro Detroit.