Report from the Field: Introducing Charles and Julie Kiser, Church Planters in Texas

This week, we want to introduce Charles and Julie Kiser, church planters in Dallas, Texas.

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Where is your church plant?   

Our plant is in Dallas, Texas.

Why did you choose the place to plant? 

We chose Dallas because there are many opportunities in the city to connect with 1) those who are disconnected from God and/or Christian community; 2) those who are downtrodden and need a community to walk with them from poverty to wholeness.

What is your vision for what you are doing?

Our vision is to start missional communities in more and more nooks and crannies of culture in Dallas so that more and more people can find their place in God’s story.

What made you want to become a church planter specifically?

God called our family to be missionaries! We sensed this calling from conversations with others, time in Scripture, and a deep passion that has emerged in us. It’s like a fire in our bones. Even when we get tired and want to give up, we can’t see ourselves doing anything else.

What tips or advice would you have for someone interested in church planting?

1) If you can see yourself doing something other than church planting, then do it! Church planting is not for the faint of heart. It will be easy to quit if there’s not a deep sense of calling from God.

2) Consider first joining a church that embodies that kind of missional life you want to plant. Start a missional community with them before you branch out to start a church. If you can’t think of such a church, come to Storyline! We are FAR from perfect, but we’ll walk with you and help you get started!

If you are interested in church planting, or would like more information, please visit our website at missionalive.org.

 

Report from the Field: Introducing Wes and Amanda Gunn, Church Planters in Alabama

This week, we want to introduce Wes and Amanda Gunn, church planters in Wetumpka, Alabama.

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Where is your church plant?   

Our plant is in the Redland community, a growing suburb just outside Montgomery, AL.

Why did you choose the place to plant? 

We were residents of this community for 7 years prior to our plant and have a deep love for our community and neighbors.  We noticed many people in our area were not a regular part of any church or were driving long distances.

What is your vision for what you are doing?

We want to create a church family that glorifies God by loving its neighbors and caring for one another.

What made you want to become a church planter specifically?

I think the joy of reaching out to people, sharing Christ with them, the challenge of communicating effectively with people who are a long way from the Lord and are jaded towards anything spiritual; the power of a Christian community coming together to serve God and reach out to the world; the God-pressure on my heart that he wanted me to live and work in the inner city, to the point where doing anything else would have been disobedient.

What tips or advice would you have for someone interested in church planting?

The journey is hard, so individuals have to constantly go back to their calling from God.  Without that, you are likely to throw in the towel at some point.  We have found that we had to completely alter our lifestyle to make room for our neighbors and find ways to serve and love them.  It isn’t just about a Sunday morning worship service, but engaging our community.

If you are interested in church planting, or would like more information, please visit our website at missionalive.org.

 

Report from the Field: Introducing Kevin and Lisa Vance, Church Planters in Canada

This week, we want to introduce Kevin and Lisa Vance, church planters in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Why did you choose the place to plant?

We didn’t really choose where we were going to plant a church, God chose it for us.  And he chose us to work here.  Seven years ago, we started a children’s outreach in the inner city of Regina; it was small with just six or eight kids that first year.  By the end of the second year, there were 84 kids, and the call to work and live among these people became so strong that we couldn’t ignore it any longer.  Although we were both working at other jobs, and lived in the suburbs, we moved into the inner city, to be incarnational – to live and work among the people.  It is a matter of identification – people here identify differently with those who live among them.  And it has changed us to identify with them too.

Since that children’s outreach, our ministry has matured.  We now have about 100 children and teens in three different outreaches.  The growing edge is in our high school group, where we have 25 students.  These young people are amazing, they serve in so many ways.  They help with the kids outreach and the middle school youth group; they invite their friends; they have developed into a close group that loves to do things together.

What is your vision for what you are doing?

Our vision for this ministry is that it will grow and reach out to many more kids and teens.  Our ministry started at one of the inner city schools; there are three others where we can start outreaches just in the neighborhood.  And more teens are coming to our youth groups each year.  The work is really just beginning.

Beyond the local work, we see church plants happening throughout Canada.  These will be churches that are strong communities of love and support, with a vibrant evangelistic mission to the world.  The work in Regina is a greenhouse, a training ground where leaders are being raised up and church planting teams can be trained and commissioned.

What made you want to become a church planter?

I think the joy of reaching out to people, sharing Christ with them, the challenge of communicating effectively with people who are a long way from the Lord and are jaded towards anything spiritual; the power of a Christian community coming together to serve God and reach out to the world; the God-pressure on my heart that he wanted me to live and work in the inner city, to the point where doing anything else would have been disobedient.

What tips or advice would you have for someone interested in church planting?

Pray often, seek the Lord, follow his leading.  It’s like a roller coaster ride, an adventure.  Join him in his mission, it will be the greatest joy you will ever experience.  Incredible highs, tremendous disappointments, but God’s leading at every moment.

If you are interested in church planting, or would like more information, please visit our website at missionalive.org.