One of Church on Mill’s Distinctives is that we are “passionately engaged in both our community and the world.” We follow the example of our Savior, who did not keep his manifold blessings hidden in heaven, but entered a suffering, sin-sick world to give life.
One way that Church on Mill has lived out this mission is by intentionally equipping men through our residency program to go out and pastor churches. Bryan Jerry was such a resident, and in 2017 he became pastor of Light in the Desert Baptist Church (LITD) in Mesa. Recently, LITD voted to “replant” their church. Essentially, this gives the church a fresh start, and also opens the door to receive funding from the North American Mission Board (NAMB) through their Send Network, which Church on Mill supports through the Cooperative Program. This funding will allow Bryan and his family to afford housing in close proximity to the church, a key component in reaching the Mesa community with the gospel.
As a part of the replant process, LITD has asked that Church on Mill would partner with them as their “sending church.” This is wonderful, as churches are called to do the work of helping churches! After prayerful and thoughtful consideration, our elders agreed. As a church body, we have been hoping to be used in this way by the Lord! So, what does it mean to become LITD’s sending church?
- We are committing to pray. Brothers and sisters, will you labor with us in prayer for Light in the Desert? This invisible work is easy to neglect—but all of our efforts are in vain if God does not act, and God largely acts in response to the prayers of his people.
- We are committing to help. This will look different for all of us. For some, it may be an encouraging text or notecard to Bryan and his family, or attending one of their church events. For others, it may be serving LITD more regularly, or even committing to join as a member. LITD especially has need of people to work in their children’s and music ministries.
- On a practical level, we will distribute the funding to LITD on NAMB’s behalf.
- Through our elders, we will provide accountability and guidance in the difficult work of pastoring.
If you would like to meet Pastor Bryan and hear more about his church’s vision, you can visit LITD or come hear him teach on “mission” at our Disciplemakers Intensive on April 7th. Their website provides their church gathering time, location, and contact information for their church.
The goal in all of this is to see a healthy, thriving church making disciples of Jesus in the Mesa community. There are 35,000 people living within a two mile radius of LITD, and they desperately need the gospel. May God bless our partnership with LITD to make his name known among them.