Last week I highlighted Jeff French as an effective cell church planter. I hope you had a chance to send him an email, asking for his MP3 files and lessons. Another church planter I’ve been coaching is Matt Anderson. Matt, a young Assembly of God pastor, is planting a cell church in Venus, TX– a town of about 8,000 people. Matt understands the needs of the area because he grew up in Tyler, TX, not far from Venus.
Matt fell in love with the cell church vision through attending seminars at Bethany World Prayer Center and by reading various cell church books by Ralph Neighbour, David Cho, Larry Kreider, and others. Matt decided to plant his church by starting a single cell (pilot group) in his home. He had a few core couples but the only way to grow was through reaching out. Matt knows the pain of pressing on through unresponsiveness. What I love about Matt is his persistence. Through the tough times, Matt has found his strengh in Jesus.
Matt and I have done a lot of brainstorming about ways to reach out. Matt kept on coming back to the theme of feeding the hungry and helping the needy. Matt grew up in the area, so he has seen the poverty first hand. He shared his vision with the pilot group, and they started a ministry of providing food for the hungry. Last week they served 41 needy families with free food! They testified about God to each family before giving out the food, and asked if they could pray for needs. The result was wour new visitors to their church.
All church planters face the dilemma of how to connect with new people. Let’s rejoice in the fact that Matt pressed on in spite of the obstacles and found a way to reach people for Jesus. Have you found that meeting people’s physical needs is an effective way to reach people for Jesus?