“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12 NKJV).
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you'” (John 20:21 ESV).
When we first planted Wilson Community Church twenty-five years ago, we were so small that it was hard to see anyone leave. It always seemed that the people that we sent out were our best people. They were the ones that were serving, giving, and helping grow the church. It was especially hard to see them go. In those early years, I used to pray, “God, I’m glad that you’re calling people out of our church to the mission field and to other ministries, but could you please send someone here to stay and help us?”
It took a while for me to recognize that God was using our church in just the way He intended: as an equipping and sending church. Once I gained the peace of this understanding, it brought me great joy. And besides, as our church grew I noticed that God was sending us great people too, people that had obviously been raised up at other equipping and sending churches.
One of those people that God sent us recently was a talented young man named Devin Gallagher. Devin joined the team to help plant our Rocky Mount campus with his mentor, Pastor Jonathan Combs. Devin and Pastor Jonathan had met at a previous church and had always wanted to work together again. So when the opportunity came up. Devin jumped on board.
Devin has served as lay staff, been a vital member of our worship team at both campuses, and has been key in establishing the worship ministry at our Rocky Mount campus. The Wilson campus probably knows him best as the “rapper” and lead guitarist in our annual Rockin’ Christmas outreach.
This coming Sunday will be Devin’s last leading worship for us. We have been encouraging him to continue his education and he has been accepted to The College At Southeastern. He will be moving to campus and begin classes later this month. We are thankful for his ministry with us and hope that we have helped equip him to take the next steps in his calling. We’ll miss him, but we joyfully send Devin on to answer God’s call on his life!
The truth is, this equipping and sending occurs every week. For we gather weekly for worship and small groups to get equipped and then we scatter afterwards, being sent back out to the mission field of our community. This is the biblical rhythm of a gospel centered church. This is the culture that Christ has given our church, so much so, that we decided to put a sign over the door that says, “Now entering the mission field.”