On September 8, 2016, a team of seven SBCV pastors came together in Wytheville, VA to conduct one of several vision tours held around the Commonwealth and DC. During this tour, God stirred the hearts of every participant and affirmed the need and potential for a new church in the Wytheville area.
As the group shared and prayed together, every participant at the table committed to be involved, at some level, with the planting of this much-needed church. Since the initial meeting, the group has met several times to pray, strategize, review résumés, and interview candidates and potential plant team members. There will be a successful church plant in Wytheville—not because the perfect indigenous candidate has been found but because an indigenous partnership of local churches has taken ownership of the work to which God has called them.
Director of Church Planting and Ministry Training, Valley Bible Church, Radford
As we have been exploring the possibility that God might want a church planted in Wytheville, it has been encouraging to partner together with other pastors in the process. From shared meals discussing vision, to church bus rides through town, to prayer together (and apart) for God to work, it has been a good experience in churches collaborating together to plant churches. We are excited about ongoing partnership in church planting in Wytheville and are hoping to use this experience as a model for future church plants.
Pastor, Sky View Missionary Baptist Church, Fancy Gap
Just to sit in the meetings and hear the excitement in everyone’s voices of what God may do is encouraging. To hear different perspectives of what the plant should look like is stimulating. It makes you think outside the box. A collective partnership just promotes an optimistic, positive attitude of, ‘How can this fail?’ I also have a personal reason to be a part of this partnership. I have family and friends in Wytheville whom I would like to see in this church plant.
I have met with [SBCV church planting strategist] Randy Aldridge on several occasions. Randy and I completed several interviews and came to the conclusion that God was moving our hearts to be part of a church plant in our area. It was no coincidence that an amazing team of SBCV pastors came together to also express their interest in supporting this cause. Through much prayer and searching, along with guidance from the team, we came to realize that I would not be the lead planter (due to lack of experience). I praise God for that because I embrace training, hands-on experience, and education prior to doing any task. However, through my time with Randy, the team, and prayer, I came to realize that I have a heightened sense of a missionary heart. I hope that this experience gives me the tools, education, and resources I need to eventually begin church planting/or missions work in the future. Randy has played a vital role in mentoring me and helping me realize God’s plan for me. I can’t wait to see how He works through us in the great venture! I am excited to be part of this growing team. To God be the glory!
Pastor, Falling Water Baptist Church, Marion
How wonderful to be able to live in these exciting days to be able to say that a group of fellow Christians would partner together to plant a church! We have prayed and gathered together in order to plant a church in Wytheville. The need is great. When you look at what was done in the New Testament—they planted churches—how can a church not plant as a part of seeing souls saved for Jesus? To fulfill the Great Commission, we must go, tell, and help those around the world—whether it results in 1, 100, or 1,000 souls for Jesus. Can we challenge you or the church you attend to help fulfil this commandment from Jesus?
Executive Pastor, Bedrock Community Church, Bedford
Wytheville is my hometown. When I think about my friends and family back home having increased access to the Gospel, I cannot help but get excited! To partner together with other churches to make that a reality is something that I love about being in the SBCV. We look forward to continuing to pray together, work together, and share resources together in order to advance the Gospel in that area of Southwest Virginia.
ACTS 13:1-4 (HCSB)
“In the church that was at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.” Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off. Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they came down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.”
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