by Dr. Tony L Lynn
PLYMOUTH, MI – The COVID-year took away a lot. Some items, events, and people taken from us, were more precious than words can express. For those of you suffering the grief of loss, I am sorry. I am praying for you.
I hope to shed light on some unbelievable wins that I saw this past year. These wins cannot remove any deep sorrow, but I hope to remind us that the COVID-year didn’t take everything. God did some miraculous things, and I cannot wait to tell you, so you can tell others who will tell others. You get the idea. Here is what I mean.
6 Church Launches
First, no less than six church plants launched during this challenging year: Trails Church, Farmington with Phillip Box; Rhiza Church, Ann Arbor with Tito Diaz; Fresh Start Christian Community Church, Detroit with Robert Lodge; CrossLife Church, Bay City with Mick Schatz; Calvary Church, Port Austin with Michael Goforth; and Grumlaw Hartland became the second campus to Grumlaw Grand Blanc with Shea Prisk. These men and their teams are valiant and they are victorious on the other side of some of the biggest challenges they have ever seen in their lives.
4 Shared Spaces
Second, some established pastors and church leaders, in longtime churches, were secure enough to share their facilities when church planters were shut down due to COVID restrictions in the public buildings they were leasing. I thank God for Bethany Church, Grand Blanc; Westside Church, Flushing; Cedar Street Church, Holt; and Grace Presbyterian, Farmington. The leaders in these four churches are titans because they did not hoard for themselves what others needed. Ask church planters Eric Stewart, Jason Loewen, Austin Wadlow and Phillip Box what they think of these four established churches and the leaders, and you will understand the depths of their gratitude.
4 Properties Gifted to Church Plants
Third, some established congregations decided to entrust their property, building and funds to church planting teams they’ve known for a brief time. Four church plants benefited tremendously from the generosity and kingdom vision of four established churches and their loving leaders.
Imagine this reality:
A collegiate church plant in East Lansing is gifted 7 acres and a building of 20,000 sq. ft. for one dollar.
An inner-city church plant is given 5 acres and a building of 6600 sq. ft. across the street from West Bloomfield High School for one dollar.
A Redford church plant set-up a 99-year lease for a building and acreage for a one-time cost of $1,000 with utilities included.
A church plant in the southeastern portion of Michigan received back half of the purchase money from the seller after the sale was completed.
Only the Lord can bring about unexpected offers and achievements like these.
As you look back on 2020, I hope you will understand that you are part of these victories. Because you pray, you participate, and you provide provisions by contributing to the annual offering for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and to the Cooperative Program of Great Commission Baptists you participate in these wins.
If you want to lead your family, small group, or church to give financially to these amazing achievements driven by the Lord, please go to bscm.org/cp, and follow the details on how to give. My wife and I contribute recurring gifts. You may give once or recurring. It is up to you. Best of all, give to these offerings with the members of your local church. Share in the achievement.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Tony L. Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.