An invitation to walk with Jesus

By Izah Broadus

Easter is a special time, and it’s a special time for New Faith, as well. The first service we ever had was Easter Sunday morning in 2016, and since that day I’ve watched the Lord and His Gospel work in the lives of people who have walked through the door.

Deborah is one of those people. She would come every Sunday, but we couldn’t get her to say anything to us. Within two months of being here, God just started touching Deborah’s heart. She began asking what she could do and how she could serve, and then she accepted Christ!

It’s just awesome what God’s done in Deborah’s life and the change I’ve seen in her over a year’s time. Last year she was so shy, and now she is the main usher for the church building, she helps run our after-school program, and if anything needs cleaning she’s on it! And for Easter this year, Deborah is going to be one of the tour guides for New Faith’s first Walk with Jesus. Walk with Jesus ad

On Good Friday we will be introducing people to Jesus through re-enactments of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Good Friday, and the Resurrection. When people first come in the door they will be registered and put into groups of five or seven. As they wait, someone from the church will be inviting them to Jesus and telling them what they are about to go through.

A tour guide will then lead each group to different scenes around the church. For Palm Sunday, they’ll see Jesus and lay down palm branches. Next they will see the Last Supper performed, and instead of washing their feet we’ll have hand wipes for them. Then we’ll take them to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays before He is arrested. The final scene will be the Resurrection. This is where we will give them a chance to write down their sins on a strip of paper, and the paper will dissolve when they put it in a bowl of water—just like the blood of Jesus washes away our sin! (Check out our Facebook page after Good Friday for pictures!)

Please pray for the people of West Helena who might come to Walk with Jesus! Our hope is that those who come on Good Friday will leave with our invitation to come back on Sunday for the Easter restoration service.

The Word Church 2


The Lord has definitely been around as New Faith prepares for Easter. It was actually The Word Church in Jonesboro that had the idea for us to host Walk with Jesus, and last week we went out in the community together to pray with people and invite them to New Faith. Altogether there were almost 70 of us doing outreach!

new chairs

And I thank God because He has also recently remodeled our sanctuary. The BCM at Arkansas Tech had some church chairs, and they offered them to us last week! As I was wondering what to do with our pews, the man who cuts the grass for us said his church, Morning Star, could use the pews because theirs were old and had no cushions.

There’s no telling what the Lord will do when you’re walking with Him! 

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Listening: time well spent

Have you ever listened to someone talk for what you thought was a few minutes, but it turns out you had been listening for an hour or more?

It happened to me recently as I sat-in on a recording for The Grind, an Arkansas Baptists podcast where church planters share their God-stories, planting strategies, and their heart for reaching the lost. I had never been a part of a podcast before (and really, I didn’t contribute to the conversation! I was just present for the recording), but I have to say my first time was a memorable one.

For this episode, The Grinds hosts (Dave and Chad) invited a local, seasoned church planter from Hot Springs named Mike Prince. A soft-spoken man with a calm demeanor and firm yet gentle handshake, Mike seemed to have everyone in the room listening for the wisdom he might share.

He talked about hanging out at McDonald’s as a way to try and have Gospel conversations. He talked about wrestling with the people God has called him to. He talked about “coincidences” that in the end proved to be divine appointments. He talked about God saving people’s souls and changing their lives.

All the while I was thinking, What’s keeping me from doing what Mike is doing? Is it because I don’t have the burden for the lost that I think I do? 

As if to answer what I was thinking, Mike said, “Right now we have so many opportunities, but we need the workers…people who will be all in.” How appropriate it was that this was one of the last things he said for the podcast. It was like a call-to-action.

{ “Right now we have so many opportunities, but we need the workers…people who will be all in.” }

~Mike Prince, Garage Church Hot Springs 

What had felt like a few minutes in the podcast turned out to be much longer, and I think time spent with God tends to be like that sometimes. I might not have physically seen Him in the room where we were recording the podcast, but His presence was there in the words Mike shared.

Mike was speaking of His redemption for His people. Mike’s heart was echoing the Lord’s heart: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

I left thinking about what years in a prison cell must feel like to a person without Christ. This is what it’s like for the people Mike ministers to in prison. Then I thought about what a day in heaven must be like, when Scripture says, “Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84:10a). What a gift not just for the prisoner but for a sinner like me.

I may not be a church planter. But I’m a believer. And sitting in on this podcast was a reminder of the work that I’m called to do, too.

Listen to The Grind episode with Mike here:
By Rachel Gaddis
Rachel is a member of the communications team for Arkansas Baptists

If my church shut down, would the community wonder where we went?

By Andrew Munneke

Three people—me, my wife, and a friend from seminary—moved from Dallas to Fayetteville in 2013 with the purpose of planting a church. I didn’t know Fayetteville very well. I had never lived there, nor did I know a lot of people in the city, but we sold possessions and packed up what we had and moved to Arkansas.

Why? Because there were lost people there and the Gospel compelled us to go.

Most people don’t know this, but 18 percent of Fayetteville’s population are church-goers, which means 82 percent are unchurched. This also means 1) there is an obvious disconnect between believers engaging with the unchurched, and 2) there are large pockets of people here who don’t have a relationship with a Christian. That was something I couldn’t ignore.

Fayetteville is also a very global area with Walmart Corp. and the University of Arkansas. People and students come from all over the world, stay here for a short season, and then go back home. the-hill-church-logo

Let the missional opportunity of that sink in. We can impact the nations in our own backyard!

Another major reason we were drawn to Fayetteville is the projected growth of the area. By 2040, Northwest Arkansas is supposed to grow by 58.3 percent, meaning the population of Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock will be the same. Who will win? I don’t know, but that’s the projection. It’s an interesting reality.

Here’s the thing. You can always run stats until the cows come home because, yeah, we can find out percentages about the unchurched. But what’s more important is what is keeping the other 82 percent of people from setting their foot in the church.

{ What are people’s emotional, spiritual, etc. reasons for not setting foot in the church? Those questions can only be answered through conversations. }

What is their reason? Sure, why are the churches there not reaching them, but what are these people’s emotional, spiritual, etc. reasons? Those questions can only be answered through conversations. That was big for us.

So our initial model for a church was building around this question: What would our church look like if we understood that we are sent missionaries to the lost people of our city?

The Vision of Presence

We knew going in that making an impact in Fayetteville was something only God could do. It wouldn’t be my fancy vision, not my zeal for this or that, not my gifts or talents, but only the Spirit of God working.

Step one in reaching Fayetteville was prayer. My wife and I, our friend, and another couple all gathered in my living room to pray just the five of us. This prayer gathering was us literally saying that we believed this church was going to make Kingdom impact, and to do it we needed His Spirit. (And that wasn’t just a one-time prayer; we continue to have these prayer meetings on the first Wednesday of every month.)

The next step was casting a compelling vision for why Fayetteville needed our church. Not that established churches weren’t doing their jobs, but we considered the bandwidths where we could meet needs that other churches’ bandwidths didn’t.

One way we did this was by asking, “What is the brokenness in the city? What are some of the areas that need the Gospel and need Gospel work done?”

{ Step one in reaching Fayetteville was prayer… us literally saying that we believed this church was going to make Kingdom impact, and to do it we needed His Spirit. }

We saw certain areas of Fayetteville that were poor and impoverished and didn’t have a church presence. Churches were going in, serving these people, and coming out, but they were not an incarnational presence. These churches were doing a good job making a needs-transaction, but we wanted to meet a self-worth need. We thought having an incarnational presence could really be a big factor in reaching these people.

From the beginning, our church has had the desire to be incarnational. In our early gatherings, we met in our house. Later, in our first location, we met in a shopping center, but we felt this angst. We were in a very visible spot, but here’s the reality: it was hard to build intentional relationships with people who needed us. This need outweighed our desire to be seen, so we sacrificed visibility to live incarnationally and moved to an old church building in a neighborhood.

So all of that to say, we started what we call Gospel-Communities. We did this first because the Gospel community gathers people and then sends people out. We started in June 2013, and by January 2014 our first Gospel-Community multiplied into three Gospel-Communities and we were ready to launch our services. 

service-launch-january-2014
Our shopping center location at the time of the launch. 

A City on a Hill

This month we are celebrating three years at The Hill Church! We have changed things that we wrote on the whiteboard three years ago, and we might change things in the future. But we know our city, our neighborhood, and who we are called to serve better.

Church planting isn’t what I thought it was—pastors who know more about what they are against than what they are for, or youth pastors who couldn’t be promoted any higher in their church. There is a necessity for it, and the book of Acts explains that clearly.

andrew-preaching-2

Church plants are 60 to 80 percent more likely to reach the unchurched. In other words, church planting is the best way to reach unreached people. Knowing that church planting is the best tool we have to reach the unchurched is a pretty strong conviction for me.

The number one purpose of a church plant should be to reach the lost.

Something we have said since the beginning is this: If our church shut down, who would knock on our doors wondering where we went? That is the city on the hill that vanishes, like a light that goes out in a dark place. This truth has led us to not only build relationships with people across the street but also at the community center next door to us.

I don’t think we shine as bright as a huge light, but the neighborhood feels our presence. I hope that we are being enough of a light for the people around us so that if we were to shut down, the lack of a Gospel presence would be felt.