DETROIT, MI – We must constantly remind ourselves that Jesus is on the throne and that He rules and reigns today. I say this because, everything around us reports on the activity of the enemy. Every time you turn on the TV or read the paper you are confronted with the reminder that Satan is alive and at work. If you listen to Christians talk among themselves, you could quickly be led to believe that we are on the losing team. Friends, that is a lie from Hell. God is at work in our day and in the state of Michigan and we need to point one another to His activity.
During the Baptist State Convention meeting in 2014, we were given the opportunity to invite Michigan Baptists to join us in Detroit, praying that, “the Lord of the Harvest would send out laborers into the harvest,” (Luke 10:2). In that meeting we reported the work of the Send Detroit Strategy Team and the recognition of 72 neighborhoods that we believed needed a Gospel-centered New Testament church. That revelation begged the question, “Where are we going to find all those church planters?” Our only strategy was prayer.
I am thrilled to report that God has been answering your prayers. We have seen 23 launches and are working with another 30 men that are at different levels of preparation for the launching of new churches. But that is not all. Of these 53 men that God has raised up, 48 are from here. Several have launched churches in their home town and some in the High School they attended. This is evidence that God is moving among us. He is raising up laborers from the harvest!
In September, we saw three new church launches in the Send Detroit area. Alin Patularu launched Life-giver Church in Windsor on September 24th at the Forest Glade Arena. Here is a couple that literally launched pregnant. Alin and his wife, Shelly, recently announced that they are expecting twins next spring. On September 17th, City Church launched under the leadership of Corey Parker at Ypsilanti high school with approximately 300 in attendance. Another plant, Journey Church, launched in Mount Clemens. This new church is meeting in the historic Emerald Theater and had 145 in attendance as they opened their doors to the city.
As we celebrate these new beginnings, please understand that we cannot afford to become complacent. God’s kingdom is advancing. We can see the movement of His hand, but our enemy has not given up nor is he asleep. Therefore, we need to be all the more diligent in our prayers. These church planters are under attack. They need our encouragement and our support. If you could hear directly from them, you would be encouraged by story after story of life change, salvation, transformation as entire families who have been restored by the life-giving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, you would also hear about the hardships they are facing. Often these challenges are simply attacks from the evil one and they need our prayers.
We also ask for continued prayer because we know that the task is not complete. We need to persistently pray that God will raise up more laborers for the harvest. We must continue to tell the story of how God is at work. At the same time, we are reminded that Jesus is ruling from His Throne today. He may not need us, but wants us to be involved, serving Him, and crying out for the lost and dying all around us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wayne Parker grew up in metro Detroit. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in education and received his Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Parker now serves as the senior pastor for Merriman Road Baptist Church in Garden City, an inner-ring suburb of Detroit. Wayne and his wife Cindy have five children. Together they enjoy skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing.