by Dave Harvey
Last year at our Pastors Conference we shared that God has opened a door for Sovereign Grace Ministries to plant a church in North Africa. We are currently in the process of giving additional training to the men who are leading this effort, as well as giving them an opportunity to visit Sovereign Grace churches to build a prayer support network and potentially recruit members to join the planting team. This is the final of three blog posts to answer some of the most frequent questions asked of team members during these visits. Previous topics: “Is this plan a shift in our missiology?” and “Why are we planting a church there, and why now?“
Who is going and how does someone apply to join the team?
I wish you could personally meet each member of the team and spend some time getting to know them—it’s a godly crew who love the gospel. For most of them, joining this team represents serious sacrifice—leaving family, uprooting from an otherwise comfortable life for a more risky one, career shifts, and the list goes on. And while the team is already formed, we are still in the process of securing visas and processing other necessary paperwork for their relocation. Sharing information about these members could endanger their safety and require a major shift in the timing of the church plant. Not only that, but it could also have serious consequences for the safety of the Christians in the region to whom they’ve previously ministered. Please pray for this team even though you don’t know their names!
What I can tell you is that we are still looking for one to two more families or singles to join the team. If you want to explore this possibility, contact the senior pastor at your church and ask him for the team profile (which describes some of the things we are looking for in candidates) and the application forms. With those documents in hand, you can begin the process:
- Examine the profile and invite others to do this on your behalf as well
- Fill out the application
- Ask your pastor to fill out the pastoral recommendation
- Contact us for instructions on submitting the completed application documents
If you have questions about the application process, or if you’re not a member of an SGM church but want to apply for the team, please contact us.
What will ongoing care look like for the church-planting team?
A primary reason the team is taking time to build a partnership with SGM is because they wanted to deepen the care they receive as they work there. By developing a larger church-planting team, they will be able to more effectively care for each other. There are also some local believers in North Africa who will extend fellowship and care to those on the church planting team. The prayers and support of SGM churches will also play an important role in the team’s care. Finally, Kenneth Maresco is responsible for providing the team with care and counsel after they launch.
Ultimately, of course, our greatest comfort is found in knowing that God himself will care for the team. The Savior has promised that he is with us in our going, so as we labor to make disciples in North Africa, we have the promise that he will be with us always, to the end of the age. With confidence in the unrelenting faithfulness and goodness of God, we eagerly entrust those we send to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build them up and give them an inheritance among all those who believe.
How can I pray for the team?
For the church in North Africa: that the Lord will strengthen the faith of believers, increase their hunger for his Word and fellowship, and use the present turmoil in that region for the building of the church. And pray for the work of the gospel: that the team would be completed and assembled, that God would strengthen them with faith and courage, protect them, and raise an army of prayer warriors who long to see God glorified in North Africa and among the nations.
If you want to get more regular prayer requests, please contact us.