Let me tell you the story of a couple I had a chance to know while living in Riverwst. Over a period of three years, I studied, worked, counseled, and hung out at a coffee shop in our neighborhood. I knew that some of the workers knew I was a pastor but I didn’t know who. After spending those three years at the same location two employees of the coffee shop asked me if I would officiate their wedding. I agreed on the condition that they go through some pastoral counseling with me. During those sessions of counseling I came to learn that the young woman was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. After high school she left her faith and because she did this her family rejected her and she and her family are no longer on speaking terms. The young man was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and his dad was a Deacon in the church. For this reason this man’s family would also not attend the service. I’m sure it was because of their upbringing, but this couple wanted nothing to do with Christianity. The wedding I was to officiate was to be as free of any ‘religious’ talk. The service was really no more than a civil ceremony. This couple did not come to faith through our meetings but it did build a foundation for relationship that continues to this day. God is not done working with this couple and I hope to be involved in His pursuit of them. I believe this story speaks to the common experience of many in Riverwest. Many in the neighborhood have no current faith affiliation and often it is because of the many wounds that are a result of a poor relationship to some faith. Approximately thirty-five percent of the persons living in Riverwest have no religious affiliation. These people are never going to leave their neighborhood to find a church, so we believe the church must come to them.
We Need Your Prayers
We know that unless this church plant is buoyed up on the prayers of Christ’s church we will not succeed.
We Need Prayers of Preparation:
We need your prayers as we take steps to move back into the neighborhood. Ps 80:8-9 says:
You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
- Pray that God would go before us and begin to clear out any obstacles to this church plant
- Pray that God would begin to prepare a soil that is ready to receive the Gospel Seed
- Pray that God would make available a home that will be conducive for both raising our family and leading a Missional community.
- Pray that the home would have a yard, a garage, and a place for Tony to work and do counseling from
- We are praying that God would raise up at least 6 households to come alongside and help the church plant. We are praying that they would be able to lead a Missional Community of their own within the first year.
- This core team needs to be a group of people passionate about seeing the lost come to faith. They need to be people who see themselves as missionaries to their neighborhood.
We Need Your Support
We are moving into a neighborhood that is economically depressed and we are moving into this neighborhood without a core team. Though I (Tony) will be working part-time, we know that our income will not be enough to support our family and the ministry we are called to. We are looking for people willing to partner with a ministry to Milwaukee’s city by giving financially.