FENTON, MI – You might think I am crazy, if you watched my life without sound. I bounce my shoulders with laughter in my quiet car after a meeting. I shed tears listening to a man share his call to ministry. I throw out a victorious fist-pump into the air after I hear great news! I sob with joy when I am praying with other men. I talk faster and with an ear-to-ear grin without taking a breath when I report another breakthrough in church planting to my wife, my partners in ministry and to complete strangers as a way to bring up the good news of Jesus Christ. I might look crazy, but it is only because I am awed by God’s actions. Let me give you a quick overview of these past six months.
Send Network Michigan
The Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) is the first state to share the distinguished “Send Network” trademark of the North American Mission Board. The highly recognized and respected Send Network brand identifies the church planting division of the state convention. More about “Send Network Michigan” and “Send Detroit” can be found at:
bscm.org under “Starting”
@sendmichigan for Facebook
@sendmichigan for Twitter
@senddetroit for Facebook
@senddetroitmi for Twitter
Because we share the Send Network brand university and seminary graduates, experienced pastors, bi-vocational pastors and laypeople throughout the nation have a strong confidence in Michigan’s church planting ministry. A variety of inspirational videos on the sites listed above explain how the network serves the Lord.
Interest has arisen noticeably in recent months. Our state continues to drive its own vision and strategy, but the Send Network supports us in ways you cannot imagine. I am thankful for our partners.
Eight Launches During Past Six Months
Michigan saw eight churches launch during these past six months because of the prayers, provisions and participation of God’s people and the Lord’s desires. Seven of the eight were right out of the gate whereas Refuge Church, who has been underway for some time, decided to gather weekly for worship services central to their vast community.
One Mission Church in Westland with Antonio Wimberly
Commonwealth of Faith Church in Redford with Torion Bridges
Hope Church in Zeeland with Dave Abberger
Cornerstone Fellowship Church in Traverse City with Ricky Pearson
Mile City Lyon Church in Lyon Township with Phillip Box
Transformation Church in Waterford with Seth Springs
Redemption Church Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids with Matt Thompson
Refuge Church in Detroit with Drew Ansley (underway but started weekly worship)
Two Church Plants Multiply & Two Apprentices Start
For years, we have been praying that God would help original church plants create new church plants that flourish. That day has arrived, and the results surpass our expectations.
Near the occasion of their four year anniversaries, Redemption Church Grandville and Mile City Plymouth launched two new churches which are Redemption Grand Rapids and Mile City Lyon. Our network celebrates church plants multiplying new generations of church plants.
In less than four years, Mile City Plymouth under the leadership of Travis Whittaker has grown rapidly and strongly. Furthermore, Mile City Plymouth planted two churches in less than four years while maintaining healthy growth and momentum: Grumlaw Church in Grand Blanc and now Mile City Lyon mentioned above. Those two new churches appear to be on their trajectory to healthy reproduction in the future.
Equally exciting, Mile City Plymouth and Grumlaw Grand Blanc intentionally took on two recently assessed and approved apprentices in preparation for future church plants. Jeremiah Williams, Jason Loewen and their wives will benefit from sharing life with two thriving church plants as they prepare to plant in the near future.
At sendnetworkmichigan.com more details about church planting apprenticeships can be found by following the site’s pathway to “Plant” to “Apprenticeship.” Please, reach out to us if you are interested.
Seven Children Added to Five Church Planting Families
Five church planting families added seven children to their families this winter:
John Robinson Guyer was born on January 2 to Michael & Emily Guyer of Treasuring Christ Church, Ann Arbor
Noah Cruz Caldwell was born on January 5 to Roland & Tedi Caldwell of the House of Restoration Church, Detroit
Lily Joy Springs was born on February 5 to Seth & Taylor Springs of the Transformation Church, Waterford
Mahlek, Mya & Jonathon were adopted on March 20 by Joshua & Stephanie Tovey of Redemption Church, Grandville
Hannah Elizabeth Marie Bridges was born on April 18 to Torion & Jasmine Bridges of the Commonwealth of Faith Church, Redford
Two University Plants Underway & Two Start in September 2019
Another answer to years of prayer, is the unprecedented collaboration I see in what I call new adults, especially those on university campuses throughout the state. Young adults are delaying the start of profitable careers in order to help start new churches in new communities. Other graduates are selecting their post-graduate residence so they can leverage their new careers to help new church plants. We have examples here in Michigan.
Baptisms, growth, discipleship and leadership development are well underway on the campuses of Wayne State University in Detroit with New Life Church and Church Planter Kevin Armstrong, and at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo with H2O Church and Church Planter Chris Gentz.
Two of the newest church planters are preparing to launch during September 2019. Treasuring Christ Church with Church Planter Michael Guyer will lead his launch team to share their lives with the students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Austin Wadlow, another church planter, will lead his launch team to saturate Michigan State University in East Lansing with the good news of Christ.
As I said, you might think I am crazy, but I assure you I am not. I simply relish, enjoy and celebrate what God is doing in our region. If you are interested in sharing in my experience let me offer you a simple invitation that you can act on right now. Here is the invitation.
Detroit’s Catch the Vision Tour: October 14-16, 2019
Pastor Wayne Parker of Merriman Road Baptist Church and Send City Missionary of Detroit with the North American Mission Board invites pastors and associational missionary strategists, including those in Michigan, Ontario and throughout the nation to join him on a 3-day, 2-night guided-tour of Greater Detroit during October 14-16, 2019. Visit communities, meet people and hear the inspiring stories of God’s intervention in the lives of people transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.
If you are interested and want more details please send an email to Wayne Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org. After your visit to Detroit, you will want to invite friends and other churches to return with you to Greater Detroit and experience what God is doing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony 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.