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  • Nathan Yurgaites

May we see greater things

MIDLAND – This past year, I’ve had the privilege to partner with Send Network to plant Damascus Church in Midland. What a ride it has been! I can only hope in years to come, the whirlwind of planting and pastoring a church may slow down a bit. Nonetheless, may God strengthen and sustain us.

With all the preparation and strategizing that comes with planting a church, there was one key element I knew that we needed – discipleship relationships. I think we all can attest that we took great strides in the faith when we were surrounded by other godly people, who were locking arms with us as we pursued Jesus. I hope that can be the culture at Damascus.

We have a men’s and women’s discipleship group that meets every other week to try to facilitate this. In our last men’s discipleship group, we studied John 1:43-51. In this passage, Jesus recognizes Nathaniel under the tree and states his name and identity before formally meeting him. As anyone would be, Nathaniel is astounded, recognizing Jesus to be no mere man, and replies “You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel!”. And Jesus responded to this soon-to-be disciple – “Do you believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”

After reading this passage, we all got out our study notes and learned that Jesus is likely referencing a dream that Jacob had (Gen. 28:12), where he saw a ladder coming from heaven to earth with angels ascending and descending upon it, to show that he was the fulfillment of a true ladder to heaven. He is the only mediator between man and God. Jesus is the ultimate “Jacob’s Ladder” to get us back to God and the disciples would witness this firsthand!

The life of a disciple is about praying for and expecting God to do greater things (Eph. 3:20). I posed this question to the men: "What would it look like in your life if you believed God for greater things, and served God in greater ways?” “What would it look like for Damascus Church to be praying and asking God for greater things – that will advance his kingdom across the earth?”

Here are the greater “kingdom” things Damascus Church is praying for, hoping for, and asking God for in 2024 and beyond:

  1. That God would raise up more teachers, preachers, pastors, and evangelists to do the work of ministry and to live out the Great Commission mission right where they are (Eph. 4:11-12, Matt. 28:18-20).

  2. That God would call more people to plant churches locally, nationally, and globally and empower them in faith to step out and join him.

  3. That God would stir like-minded Christians and churches toward greater kingdom collaboration and partnership across the region, nation, and world so that we may plant more churches, see the church be trained up for the work of ministry, and then fulfill the mission of making disciples.

  4. Then to see the whole cycle above repeat itself as God gets all the glory for advancing his name and kingdom across the earth!

Will you join with us in praying and pursuing greater things, that we may be astonished as Nathaniel was when God uses ordinary ol’ people like us to advance his name and Kingdom throughout Michigan, the U.S., and beyond? God let us see greater things in 2024!



Nate Yurgaites is pastor of Damascus Church in Midland, MI, a new church plant in 2023. He is married to Betsy and they have five children: Desiree, Brianna, Calvin, Judson, and Haddon.



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