“When people who are following Jesus hear of a need, they’ll meet it. We’ve got churches experiencing crises on a weekly basis, but the world doesn’t know about it because they aren’t being shared. If churches can say they need help, it’s amazing how God inspires other people and churches to meet the needs of His Kingdom. We have seen that once we let people know what the needs are, God will prompt people to meet needs. It’s alright to need, and we need to be able to talk about it. We have a God that provides.”
– Bob Morgan, pastor of Rosewood Community Church
Three elementary schools are located within a two-mile radius of Rosewood Community Church. The replanted congregation is working to grow deeper roots of ministry in the community and plans to launch an after-school program designed to meet the immediate needs of families, utilize the church building when not otherwise being used, and create a new source of revenue to be used specifically for ministry. Operating within a limited budget, Rosewood hoped to simply borrow a local church van that was not in use on weekday afternoons to transport students to the new program.
NorthStar Christian Center Pastor Brian Thomas saw a post Morgan made in a CMBA pastor’s group chat asking if any local churches had vans to lend. He contacted Morgan about an older van his church was hoping to sell and offered it at a discounted rate. Thomas says he understood when Morgan replied that his church was not in a position to purchase the vehicle.
“What I didn’t tell Bob was that we were having to shut down our church’s daycare due to the fact that our weekly offerings never bounced back from the Covid years. We just could not continue financially carrying our daycare and after-school program without deeply hurting the financial future of the church,” Thomas explains. “But when I shared all of this with our elders, they immediately suggested we pray about totally giving the bus to Rosewood for their ministry expansion.”
Within 24 hours, the NorthStar elders and Thomas unanimously agreed to “sow this bus into the ministry of Rosewood, as we continue to work to solidify our financial situation. We all felt it was the Lord’s will for us to do this.”
This gift signaled more to Morgan than meeting a need, it was “a personal encouragement that I can’t put into words, having someone partner with you and buy into what God is doing here – and not just close to where they are, but on the complete other side of town.”
The van is fundamental to the after-school ministry’s success and is also inspiring Rosewood Community Church members to continue dreaming big. Morgan reports that his members are “asking how we can use it to grow the church and serve the community in new ways,” and that one member recently inquired about “whether a transportation ministry could be started using the bus to bring inner city people to worship on Sundays.”
For his part, Thomas calls his church’s obedience an “unspeakable joy. Through our experiences over the years, we have found that we can’t outgive God. We certainly didn’t gift the bus to Rosewood to get a blessing, but we know full well that when you are obedient to God you can’t lose. We trust God and want to be obedient in every way.”
Morgan wants all CMBA churches to take note of this open-handed attitude of resource sharing, and he challenges churches with extra resources to look for ways to share them. Rosewood has an abundance of space, so Morgan offers his church’s facility as meeting space to other community groups.
“We can’t do everything. But what we can do, we will do. I never want it said that God gave us this building, but we didn’t utilize it to help people,” Morgan says. “It’s amazing to think what churches could accomplish together in our city if we shared resources.”
While NorthStar’s financial future remains unknown, Thomas is confident his church heard God’s direction in gifting the van to Rosewood Community Church. “We know that our sowing into the ministry of Rosewood is good soil to sow into, therefore the harvest is up to the Lord,” he says.