Church Highlight: Emmanuel Church
Your name: Alex DiPrimaYour spouse and children’s names: Jenna DiPrima
Name of your church: Emmanuel Church of Winston-Salem
Location of church: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Date church was planted (if your church is a plant): Anticipated launch April, 2017.
Name of partnering church(es): Grace Reformed Baptist Church
What are the reasons you decided to plant a church in your city (if your church is a plant)?
We decided to plant a church in Winston-Salem largely due to the need for more strong healthy churches in the Winston-Salem area. Though there are some healthy churches in Winston, many are plateaued or declining. Winston is one of the fastest growing cities in our state and sadly the church has not kept up with this population growth. Also there are a number of significant universities in the area including Wake Forest University, Winston Salem State University, and North Carolina School of the Arts which are significantly under-reached.
What have you seen the Lord do in and through your church/church plant?
So far we have seen God grow the number of our core group to about 15-20 adults, some from our sending church in Mebane and some from the Winston-Salem area. God has been working unity of vision among our group. We currently meet as a Saturday night small group and God has blessed these meetings and even used them to add others to our number. We believe God is helping us in building a strong base to launch the church in April of 2017.
What do you hope to see the Lord do in and through your church in the future?
God willing we will begin holding Sunday night worship services beginning in January. We hope that God will draw more people into our group through these worship services. We also hope that we will further sense the Lord’s affirmation on our church plant as we worship God together. These worships services will also be key in casting vision for what we hope the church will be. Our desire is that after three months of meeting on Sunday nights we will covenant together as a new church in April and then begin holding regular AM worship services.
What advice do you have for current or future church planters?
I encourage church planters not to get caught up in all the fluff surrounding church planting. Endeavor to build a church founded on New Testament ideals for what the church ought to be. Church planting can very quickly become about various strategies, methods, business techniques, etc. Be better than that. Seek to build a church that reflects the emphases of the Bible.
I also encourage church planters not to presume that you have the de facto right to call yourself a church. Ask the Lord Christ himself to make you into a church. It takes a whole lot more than a bright eyed, entrepreneurial group of young people with a church name to be a true church of the Lord Jesus. Pursue Christ and his will for your church plant and ask him to plant you.
What else would you like to share with the readers of our blog?
I can’t speak highly enough of the blessing of a good sending church. Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Mebane has been exemplary as a sending church. As we like to say in the Pillar Network, we want churches that plant churches. That’s more than just a cliché. Church planting is done best when it is done through the local church.
What are your 3-4 main prayer requests?
- Please pray that Christ himself would form us into a church.
- Please pray for real love, unity of vision, and like-mindedness among our core team.
- Please pray that God would grow our numbers as we anticipate covenanting together in April.
- Please pray that God would soon provide us with a suitable meeting space for our Sunday evening worship services beginning in January.
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