Tamara and I are really excited to be leading the Redemption Church plant out of Mercy Hill next year. Through his wisdom, God has already started gathering the team. As I write this, we have twenty-five people committed (eighteen adults and seven children). That’s so encouraging! We’re hoping and praying for twenty-five to fifty adults to come from Mercy Hill with us. We’re praying for even more to come from Roanoke—people who are already living there—so that when we launch in the Fall of 2020, we’re over 100-strong. (There’s a little prayer request for you, if you were wondering!)
Everyone who has committed to go each have their own reasons. But I want to give you three categorical reasons for why we chose to plant a new church in Roanoke, Virginia.
1. The Mission
I know this one goes without saying at Mercy Hill, but the mission of God to advance his kingdom in the world is primarily carried out through church planting. When you become a Jesus-follower, you automatically get thrust into this mission with him.
So what we want to do as a church is develop disciples here in Greensboro and send them out to the ends of the earth. It’s pretty simple. We’re praying Luke 10:2—for God to send out more laborers into his harvest. We also have an active willingness to participate.
And why wouldn’t we want to participate in God’s mission? I’m thankful for how God has saved me and transformed my heart, so I want to take the Good News I’ve heard here and share it with people who haven’t heard it there!
You should ask: How am I participating in God’s mission?
2. The Culture
Roanoke is like the broader American culture; it has a restless culture that’s always searching for satisfaction in everything except God. But Roanoke also has its own unique culture.
So we’ve been asking God to bring together the best team to reach people there. Essentially, we’ve been asking for God to send us laborers who are uniquely able to be effective in Roanoke’s specific culture and who are prepared to reap the harvest God has cultivated there.
Tamara and I aren’t L.A. people. We’re not Boston or New York or Chicago people either. I don’t think we’d be nearly as effective in big cities like those. But we are Roanoke people. So we feel uniquely able to contextualize the gospel there.
You should ask: Am I uniquely gifted and able to contextualize the gospel in a place like Roanoke?
3. The Need
Though I’m sure there are more, here are several major needs we’ve identified in Roanoke. For a more detailed look, check out some of the reasons on our website at redemptionroanoke.com.
- Mainline denominations and established churches are in decline.
- Over seventy percent of the population is unreached with the gospel.
- In a sixty-mile radius, twenty-one institutions of higher learning (including Virginia Tech and Liberty University), represent over 100,000 students.
- 12,000 students are located right in the Roanoke Valley.
- On average, over nine to ten children are aborted every week.
- One in five marriages end in divorce (double the national average).
- One in nine marriages were same-sex in 2015 (highest in Viriginia).
Whether it’s fighting for justice in social matters like abortion, racism, or trafficking, or whether it’s ensuring refugees are welcomed into the community and set up for future success, Christians have a biblical responsibility to love and serve their neighbors.
You should ask: Could God use me to meet some of these needs in Roanoke?
Something to Consider
Consider joining the team to Roanoke or a church plant in the future. Take what God has given you here to people who haven’t heard it somewhere else.
As Christians, we know Scripture is our first authority in decision-making. And in the case of church planting, we know Scripture clearly pushes us to participate in God’s mission in some way. But after that, we have to ask: (1) What is wise for me? and (2) What do I want to do?
Thankfully, for the Christian, there’s freedom in making a decision like this! Get wise counsel from people you trust, pray for wisdom (James 1:5), keep seeking to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), and you can trust God’s sovereignty in whatever choice you make.
If you’re interested in going with us, connect with me by filling out this online interest form. Whether you stay or whether you go, you’re a part of God’s mission in the world, so be encouraged!
-Carter Mundy (Redemption Church Planter)