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wo is better than one; three is even better…a truth so simple and yet so
powerful from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. As my family embarked on this God-
sized church planting journey, we knew God would use that truth to help
launch His church planting network in Chicagoland. I knew God intended
Jacob’s Well to be a team adventure in every possible way. He also wanted the
new church plant to be launched with a team of full-time and volunteer leaders.
And last but not least, I knew God wanted these efforts to be supported by a
team of churches.
Together, the churches that support the general fund of the BMAA Missions
Department and over 5,000 prayer warriors who receive Bro. Grady’s monthly
“Prayer Log” form one of the biggest teams a church planter could ever hope to
find. We are so thankful for each and every offering and prayer that has been
raised up on behalf of God’s vision for reaching western Chicagoland.
I’m convinced that the extraordinary successes we have experienced so far
can be credited in significant ways to how God has worked through this special
team of churches and individuals. So far, no less than 13 different groups have
“Nearly 270
traveled from Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas to serve
alongside us as we reached out to show and tell our region about God’s
individuals partnered
amazing grace and love for them. Five of these groups have made repeat trips
and are already planning more. with us to provide
Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, our sponsoring church,
has taken her role to a whole new level. In addition to the encouragement and
special touches of

prayers of Pastor David Harris and the church as a whole, several groups within

God’s love through
her have been sanctioned to provide us special support. The wonderful Joy
Class meets every Sunday morning before church. They not only pray for me, various strategic
my family, and our church, they take up what is easily the largest single offering
we receive on a monthly basis. In addition to this, Oak Park has sent up four
different short-term missions teams.
VSM Team Chicago has been sent by the Missions Department three years running.
Laura Simpson, Ryan Meadows, and David Christian have each led groups that have
rolled up their sleeves and worked hard at various festivals and thrift store ministries
as well as in various home remodeling projects and Art in the Park outreach events.
Vardaman St. of Wiggins, Mississippi, sent two teams, led by Danny Ballard,
which allowed us to take on the major renovation of three natural park areas as
well as a site on the world historic registry. Southgate of Moore, Oklahoma, sent
two teams, led by Bart Bryns, which enabled us to blitz our area with door-hang-
ers before a special Sunday outreach as well as assisting with an Art in the Park
and an ongoing park restoration project. And, finally, South Jefferson of
Mt. Pleasant, Texas, sent two teams, led by Kevin Welborn, which provided additional
assistance to the thrift store ministry and much-needed volunteer servers at festivals.
Combined, these groups (along with others that space prevents me from
mentioning but which I appreciate just the same!) have allowed God’s vision
for Chicagoland to unfold in a much broader and bolder way than would have
otherwise been possible. In just this last summer, nearly 270 individuals
partnered with us to provide special touches of God’s love through various
strategic projects. Each group that has come—and every group that will come
in the future—will forever be remembered by this church plant and this
church planter as a part of a team that God used to launch Jacob’s Well and
the Chicagoland Network.
As you read these words and see these pictures, it is my prayer that God
might move you or a Sunday school, small group class, or youth ministry in
your church to prayerfully consider how you can be used by God to encourage
the church planters He lays on your heart. From Chicago to Colorado, Florida
to Louisiana, Idaho to the Kansas City area and beyond, you will find church
plants and church planting teams that need more than your prayers and
financial support. If God leads you to team up with a church planter in this
way, I can assure you that, in the end, you will find that He makes as much an
impact on your heart as He does in the area in which you will have served. n n theGLEANER 11
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