Churches Strengthening Churches

My name is Keith Brich. My wife Lynda and I have been married just over twenty years, and we have two children, Savannah (17), and Meredith (14). Raised in Omaha, we have been missionaries in a very small town in rural Nebraska. But sensing God calling us out of the mission field, he brought us to Mattoon about a year ago to serve Providence Church.

I have always had a heart for missions, and our church had a desire to reach out beyond our walls. With that in mind, we wanted to identify a way that our church could have an impact in reaching others for Christ. Attending a Converge Conference last Fall with two of the elders from our church, we had a chance to meet Marshall Gallagher, a Converge Church planter who is planting a church in Nashville, TN. We enjoyed hearing Marshall tell us about The Branch Church plant in Nashville, and our church decided to support him. In addition to monthly support, this past week our missions project for Vacation Bible School was The Branch Church, and the children collected $108. They loved seeing a video of Marshall greeting them, and they enthusiastically participated in a video wishing The Branch team well. Our prayer is that as we see The Branch grow and reach others, our people will be inspired to think globally about their faith.

Our church is small – we average around fifty people or so on a Sunday. We are not much bigger than many church plants starting out. But with a heart for the community, we know that we can be used by God to reach the unchurched. This past spring we gathered together to take the NCD survey. The survey told us a lot of things that we already knew. It also revealed some needs. One such need is for small groups, to facilitate a way to grow in Christ together, building relationships that will reach outside of the walls of our church. We are still early in the process, but with coaching from Bryan Moak, we are working to establish a small groups ministry, and we will be launching it this Fall. We are excited to see how God will use this ministry.