It didn’t take long for me to realize that I need help. I realized in just a short time of church planting how lonely, how hard, and how intense the spiritual warfare is when you seek to be on mission for God. I asked many of you to pray with me that God would send a partner to be like the partners that the Apostle Paul had on his missionary journeys.
I asked our friends to pray that God would send me a Timothy, John Mark, or a James. What I was asking for was for a partner to physically be here and walk out this journey of church planting here. Somebody that can relate to the struggle and the adversity that Satan can throw your way.
I laugh now as I think of how I thought my prayers might be answered and how I thought God could do it. Yet, just like so many other things on this journey, I can make my plans but God orders the steps. His ways truly are higher than my ways. This is where I get the privilege to introduce you to what I believe is not only God’s answer to our prayer but as it is with everything that God does he does it better than I could have ever asked for.
I met Alonzo and his lovely wife Rhonda at a dinner hosted by the North American Mission Board last year. Alonzo is a native of Philadelphia and there is no one I know nor have met so far that loves and knows this city better than he does.
Alonzo has an incredible story of redemption from a earlier life of a crack addiction that led to a broken dream of being the next Major League Baseball superstar to a life that is radically changed because of the transforming work of the gospel. Now he is a loving husband, father, and the next church-planting superstar in Philly.
Alonzo and Rhonda both have a similar calling and commitment to planting the gospel here and around Philadelphia with the goal of making disciples who make disciples so that they can plant the gospel. We know that this is how God will build His church. This calling and a commitment to God’s leading has led us to a partnership to plant the Gospel in North Philadelphia so that God can build His church there.
This is our first opportunity to launch the Grace Falls Church Planting Network. It has been clear to both the Johnsons and the McNickle’s that God is and has been working in and around us long before we met. God’s timing is perfect and we know that this is His will. We will work alongside Alonzo & Rhonda as they plant the gospel there in North Philadelphia. We will coach, assist, and provide support in a variety of ways as they plant a church there.
Our first event as partners will be this Sunday morning as Grace Falls Church goes to Northeast Bible Fellowship to support their Memorial weekend neighborhood barbecue as they strive to connect with their neighbors on Sunday afternoon starting at three.
Join us in celebrating this great news and praying for God’s will to be done.