Monday, May 5, 2014

Church Plant of the Month: Fellowship Bible Church Rocky Mount

Photo by Lori Harris
I "met" Lori via a post for the Bloom Book Club on (in)courage. Her comment led me to click on her profile...I was immediately captured by her beautiful writing, her incredible eye for beauty, and a heart that desperately wants to be used by God in spite of herself. I honestly hoped I could connect on a deeper level with her and that somehow God would allow our paths to intersect.

I'm so honored to feature Lori's church plant this month. A portion of all sales in my shop will go to her ministry in Rocky Mount. Thanks to Lori for sharing this honest interview about the people and place God has called her to:

Lori, tell us about you, your ministry, and your writing:

I’m wife to Thad, a church planting/warehouse managing/sometimes guitar playing/always Jesus loving man.  I’m also Mama to our small tribe of 6.  I could write you a small book all about my little people, but I’ll spare you.  I love them like crazy, but Y’all, I’m tired.

We live smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt on a street called Avent, in Nowhere, North Carolina. We spend our days in a hundred year old house with drafty windows and patchy landscaping and a yard full of other people’s kids. We’re 2 years into planting a church while simultaneously navigating into the muddy waters of poverty and racism by living in a less than desirable neighborhood some would call the ‘hood.

I call it home. 

I write about all the ways that Jesus is jacking up my pretty little life by opening my eyes to my world on Avent street. For the last few months, I’ve felt a stirring in my soul that this move to Rocky Mount has nothing to do with our church plant and everything to do with how God is moving here in my place. And I’ve seen that God has been using my blog as a tool to open the eyes of other believers in my city and He’s given me a platform to gently preach the Gospel to the Church instead of simply writing about our church.

Photo by Lori Harris

What's your church planting story?

My husband attended Dallas Theological Seminary and while we were in Dallas, my husband began to pray that God would burden our hearts for a people and place that needed the Gospel. We’d worked for a church planting agency when we were first married and the desire to plant a church never left our hearts. After a year of praying, we felt led to Rocky Mount, NC. We felt Rocky Mount needed a grace filled community of believers whose main desire was to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. We also felt the need to reach a demographic that was not being reached. So we planted Fellowship Bible Church Rocky Mount in 2012 with the intent of always staying small through continually planting the Gospel in small communities throughout the city.

We are a church plant of Fellowship Bible Church Dallas.

Photo by Lori Harris

Why Rocky Mount?

We didn’t choose Rocky Mount. God did. Rocky Mount is my hometown and it’s the kind of place you escape from. I left home in 1996 and never had a desire to go back. But God is always working His plan and we’re not meant to understand it. We’re just meant to trust Him. So in 2011, we packed up our pretty little life in Dallas and set up camp in the ‘hood.

Because God told us to. And that’s reason enough,

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding church budgets. How does stewardship work at Fellowship Bible Church Rocky Mount?

Our church plant is unique in that my husband works full-time managing a warehouse and I work full-time from home providing child care. We don’t rely on the church for our livelihood and we never intend for that to be the case. We feel that the best way to know the lost is to work among them. And our church desires to truly be the Church, not just a building that bears the name Fellowship BibleChurch Rocky Mount.

Photo by Lori Harris

In church planting, finances are often a struggle. What does it mean for a church plant when people come around them and support them with something as simple as an Etsy store purchase?

To answer your question, our small plant needs funds to simply love our community better. We need money to purchase groceries for our neighbors in need. We need money to fix leaky roofs and bicycle tires. We need money to buy diapers for new moms and new shoes for kids going back to school. We need money to host movie nights on our lawn and money to serve hot dogs and chips. We need money to bless the school we are moving into this summer.

Our church doesn’t need thousands of dollars to make things happen each year. We just need small donations that make it possible for us to bless our community in practical ways.

And by meeting their needs, we roll out a welcome mat to the Gospel.

And Jesus is always the end goal. Not a church building.

Read Lori's blog:
Visit Loris on Facebook here
Follow Lori on Twitter: @loribrownharris
Contact Lori: 

To support Lori's ministry and the work of Fellowship Bible Church in Rocky Mount simply make a purchase here during the month of April. A portion of all sales will be donated to spreading the Gospel in Rocky Mount.

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