God uses grief. In fact, God uses LOTS of things to bring others to Himself! We (Rod and Susan) are currently facilitating their 7th full cycle of GriefShare at South Holly. Each cycle is 13 weeks in length, which allows time to get to know each of the participants and walk their grief journey with them. For various reasons, we considered canceling the fall cycle of GriefShare and waiting until January to resume. God did not let us - and here’s why…… Read MORE......
Let us tell you about a guy - we’ll call him “Peter”. Some back story first - In March, the management of our church’s website volleyed back to Susan, who, with her eye for detail, got on the back door of the website to see what needed to be updated, if anything. God showed her that there was a problem with the “Contact Us” card, meaning that there were individuals that had filled it out, hoping and expecting to hear a response from South Holly. The link was broken, so South Holly never received those emails. None of us knew….. The South Holly Staff reached out to those individuals, apologizing for the delay in response, as they had all requested information 2 months earlier. Pastor Shannon sent a message to “Peter”. “Peter” attended Men’s Group the next day, and the week after that, and so on. The next month, his whole family came for Easter, and they continue to come. “Peter” actually showed up to help with set up that Easter morning - before they had ever attended a Morning Worshi
Planting 10 churches in 10 years sounds pretty amazing, especially for a church that has just reached about 100 in attendance, but that’s the plan. Our lead pastor of 2 years, Shannon Popp, has a heart for planting churches, and with some ABWE help, we are on track to plant a church by Easter of 2023. The pastor for the first church plant, Table Fellowship Church, is currently South Holly’s Worship Leader, Pastor Arick Graham and his wife, Rachel. We are working hard at growing South Holly, developing the processes to prepare not only for our growth but also for the sending of a significant percentage of our church families to assist in planting Table Fellowship. Additionally, a fellowship of Telegu-speaking families from India are using South Holly as their church home location. They have their own pastor, who has recently joined South Holly, along with his family, for emigration reasons. They will at some point plant their own church in the community near us, which makes another chur
“A” …. is a 25-year-old business professional with a winning, outgoing personality and with whom Rod has developed a good friendship. “A” owns his own business and has a background in marketing. Unless God changes his path, we fully expect him to be a millionaire at a young age. He is that good at what he does, which makes him the perfect person to assist Rod in his plan to present the Gospel to one million hearers. “S” …. is a 50-something woman who Rod and Susan met through GriefShare. Susan continues to pour into her life, meeting her for lunches. While she was quite open to hearing about Christ for a time, she is now more resistant to the possibility of a relationship with Christ. Still, God continues to place this woman on Susan’s heart, and their relationship continues to deepen. “G” …. is a 21-year-old intern at South Holly. “G” has an awesome testimony of how God turned his life around in a very dramatic fashion. He not only interns with Pastor Shannon, he is Rod’s “ri
"The Gospel in front of one million people" - that is the desire as expressed by Pastor Popp, our lead pastor at South Holly Church. Please remember that although South Holly has grown and has made huge strides in the last year, it is still relatively small, with an average attendance of 76.5 people per Sunday in the month of February. But rushing in where angels fear to tread, I (Rod) put together a “brainstorming session” on how to reach one million people - and not just touches - but presenting the Gospel to one million people. After collecting many ideas from the eight of us in attendance, we categorized them into one of four quadrants representing differing levels of “Value” and “Do-ability”. Taking these categorized ideas, and looking at skill-sets as well as the church calendar, we now have a preliminary sequence of Action Items that are ranked as high value and high do-ability. Here’s the ringer, a few days before the Brainstorming Session, I was chatting with
Rod and I met S through a South Holly Church member who knew she had recently lost her mother. At our first encounter with S, we knew she was struggling – a lot – in her grief, but also recognized that she did not know the only One who could truly heal her grief, and that’s Jesus. Within the first couple of weeks, I offered to meet with S for coffee – which we did. I just listened. I asked if she’d like to meet again, which she accepted, and we met for lunch. I just listened. That grew into meeting S for lunch every Tuesday, which we continue to do. I still listen WAY more than I talk. As I listened to her story, she told me she went to Catholic school all throughout her life. She didn’t “get” religion class and was so frustrating to the nuns that they told her, “You are doomed to hell”, kicked her out of religion class and told her to work in the kitchen instead. She became very adept in the kitchen tasks as she apparently spent lots of time there - instead of in religion cla
"I think we're there. Our prayers have been answered!" The words we had longed to hear from Dr. Yakes had been spoken. As of Friday, July 24, Rod's ongoing medical treatments are finished! Yet as we reflect on this journey, we have MUCH to Praise God for! God allowed us to have a significant ministry with many, many medical personnel. Rod would often be asked - "What do you have to tell me about the Bible today?" One day, a nurse liaison said to us, "We were talking about you before you came in this morning. Why are you always so patient? Why do you never get frustrated with all the schedule changes and long wait times?" Rod's answer - It's God. At one point in the course of treatments, Rod asked if he could pray with Dr. Yakes before his treatment, which he gladly accepted. As a beloved pastor used to tell us, "You can get a lot of gospel in a prayer!" From then on, before every treatment, Dr. Yakes called all the medical person