Hello Friends & Family,
I thought now was a good time to catch you all up on how things are going for Kathryn and I in Evanston as we labor to plant Ransom City Church. A lot of things are going very well, but as always, we could really use your prayers. Our church has been meeting publicly for about six months, the last three of which have been in a conference room of the Hilton hotel downtown, and we’ve really seen God bless our move. It’s proven to be a much better and more visible location for students and locals, and visitors to get to. Though we’ve already seen people come and go, we’re now a church of around a couple dozen, as opposed to the seven people we started with. Praise God! God’s really been teaching our team lately to be patient, keep praying and preaching the gospel of grace, and to wait on Him to build his church (Mat 16.18), for though man can plant and man can water, only God can give growth (1 Cor 3.7). Everything takes time: meeting and finding ways to minister to people in a new city, developing relationships with neighbors and coworkers, and just letting the city know we exist. Our core team has already hosted a couple barbecues on our block, a food drive in partnership with the Whole Foods downtown to support a local homeless shelter, seen visitors flow in thanks to Google Ads, and partnered with several churches and leaders (Evanston Baptist Church, Evanston Bible Fellowship, East Side Baptist Church) and campus ministries (Baptist Collegiate Ministries, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship), all of which have been great successes and led to new relationships and opportunities to know, love, and serve individuals and organizations in our community in the name of Jesus.
- One exciting thing in our church lately has been the preaching. I preached a sermon at the end of August on living in light of Christ’s return. It was a great exercise for me to preach, and I’m grateful that God has gifted the three men in our leadership in preaching and teaching. The sermon is up on our website, check it out if you’d like! We just started a series we’re calling Ransom City Identity, where we’re unpacking the name and values of our church, which lives to see Jesus worshipped, loved, and proclaimed as Savior and King in Evanston and beyond. As I had mentioned, I’ll be preaching again this Sunday, October 27th, this time on what it means to be continuous worshippers of God. We’re all very excited about our advent series, where we’ll be preaching on our need for, the birth, life and death, and return of our Messiah, and our first series of the new year, also, where we’ll be going through common biblical stories such as Noah’s ark, David and Goliath, and why Jesus is always the answer—Sunday School Bible lessons for adults, if you will. As always, we’d love to have you come visit us, and we’ll be putting the sermons up online, and please pray for my sermon!
- To help live out one of our core values, Mission, we’ve started meeting from 9-11am the first Saturday of each month with the purpose of equipping and encouraging one another as we go around town striking up conversations with locals about the city, their interests, our church, and Jesus. We’re calling it Mission Lab, and we’d love you to join us, if you are able, to help us meet people and engage the city. We would also love for people to devote themselves to pray for us and those we meet during these and any times!
- Please pray for the people of Ransom City Church to remember first and foremost the love that God has for us; that we meet every Sunday to worship Him, regardless of how many people are there or how the city is receiving us, and that our God is unchanging.
- Please pray that I continue to rest well and keep my focus on God as things are only getting busier. In addition to my internship for Ransom City through the North American Mission Board and our sending church, Redeemer Fellowship, I am a couple months into an elder candidacy process that requires much reading, study, and writing. I am also hoping for a full time position at Apple early next year, so please also pray that I always remember to seek first the kingdom of God, and He will provide for my needs as He always has (Mat 6.33).
- We need people who are willing to plug into Ransom City and labor alongside us as we try to reach this city and plant this church to to so, and I am asking you to prayerfully consider how God might use you to be an answer to this prayer!
- Please be praying for our efforts to reach the students of Northwestern University. As with anything in this city, we’re finding out, there are a lot of hoops to jump through and a lot of bureaucratic resistance we come up against when trying to even begin ministering to locals, so we have joined with Evanston Baptist Fellowship to start up NU’s chapter of Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and are hopeful to raise up student leaders, and see a thriving ministry that reaches NU for Jesus.
Please let me know how we can be praying for you!