KINGSLEY, MI – A church planter catalyst is as diverse as the area he serves. I have the privilege of serving in an area that stretches from Flint to Ironwood and across to Sarnia, Canada. This means God has allowed me to see churches catalyzed in two time zones and two countries! Some of the most exciting times include work started with the Native Americans, African Americans as well as Anglo churches. Recently, we have seen God replant in areas like Petoskey, Clio and Bellaire. This means that we have a struggling congregation that has new leadership, sees a new vision, and learns to grow and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as well as their new church planter pastor.
One of the great blessings of my ministry was being on the ground level of a suburban church plant in Grandville. I also got to help plant a rural church in northern Michigan and watch the planter be encouraged by a block party event sponsored by our WMU. Currently, there is an African American church plant on the east side of Flint I am blessed to support. I also cross a few bridges in the literal sense - going across the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron to visit with one of our newest plants in Canada, or crossing the mighty Mac (Mackinac Bridge) to visit with our planter in the Soo (Sault Sainte Marie). All of this new work brings great joy to my soul.
With so much traveling you may wonder if I ever sleep. Well, my days begin quite early with personal Bible study and prayer. One of the things I pray for daily, as Jesus commanded, is to have workers. He said the fields are white, pray for workers and the harvest. I would challenge you to pray with me this prayer because there are many places with great needs and opportunities. One of these great needs is in Marquette (the largest city in the Upper Peninsula) that has no Southern Baptist work. Alpena, the largest area on the sunrise side of the state is also without a Southern Baptist Church. On the west side of the state Traverse City, a growing and popular city, needs another church work planted.
In addition to my support and encouragement of church planters, I look for men who are called by God to a specific area or to a people group, along with men and women, who are entrepreneurial and willing to start something new from nothing. I also look for the leaders who train disciples who then train disciples. I am grateful that God allows me to be part of His kingdom and to invest and work in the lives of Mid and Northern Michigan as well as Canadian churches and church planters. Let me invite you to come visit the prettiest part of our state and join me in punching holes in the darkness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Darren Greer came to Michigan as a summer missionary in 1985. Since he has served in northern Michigan 27 of the last 30 years as a church planter, minister of education, pastor, DOM and now serves as Church Planting Catalyst with NAMB and BSCM in Mid and Northern Michigan.