A few years ago, Riverlawn commissioned discipleship pastor Travis Roberts to start a church in Wichita. He was sent out with the vision of reaching people far from Christ with the full support of Riverlawn and many other donors that believe in this mission.
My wife and I are part of this church, named The District Church, in the Delano district of Wichita and I don’t want to sugarcoat anything here.
Planting a church is tough work.
I admire Travis and his brother Brady and their families for their dedication and persistence in moving the gospel forward. I admire them because I don’t think I’d be able to do it.
I play a small part in this small church, but it’s still hard. There are so many other people that have put in so much more than me, and I don’t know how they do it. Make no mistake, it’s a joy and a privilege to tell people about Christ, but it’s a grind to find the energy to love some people. I’m sure you can relate.
I never envisioned going to church with the people that attend The District each week. People struggling with sexual identity, addicts, and atheists can all be found at 128 S. Martinson each Sunday.
In Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah says “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Yes, starting a church is hard work, but when someone decides to be baptized, or commits their life to Jesus, or approaches someone and wants to serve in some capacity, all the negative feelings of “the grind” and struggle melt away as you see someone emerge from the darkness and into the light.
I’ve seen people struggle as they drag their sin to light and break down as they tell the story of their life. The door then opens for us to share what Jesus has done in our hearts and Satan is overcome by the word of our testimony.
There is so much joy in helping plant a church because of the people that hear what Jesus has done for them and they dedicate their lives to him.
There are moments when you won’t want to do what needs to be done. But the joys of sharing Christ and sharing life with people who need him far, far outweigh the tough moments.