I’m writing this story on the last day of my snowpacked week-long visit to Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was an excellent week of connecting with Converge Worldwide missionary appointees, attending the Midwest Conference for Missionary Care, and becoming trained and certified in the Cerny Smith Assessment – a coaching tool that answers the question ‘how are you doing?’
One of my values in this ministry is to partner with the local church rather than bypass it. So on this past snowy Sunday I drove from the Twin Cities to Monticello to connect with Quarry Community Church. As I headed north on 494 I had one question on my mind: Why is Quarry Community Church so named? I wanted to visit this church that was sending out a new Converge missionary family to a location that I will leave unnamed for security purposes.
I was greeted by Carmen at the welcome center with a smiling face.
Carmen showed me where I needed to go and introduced me to the pastor, Michael Grose. I recently was searching for my own new church home south of Orlando, so I’m thankful for churches like Quarry who have people like Carmen in place who are ready to greet strangers. That’s kind of biblical too (Deuteronomy 10).
The more I talked with Lead Pastor Michael Glose the more I realized what a special community Quarry Church is. Michael told me how he felt about this young family that the church is sending overseas for church planting. “They’ve been with us from the beginning. We are both sad and excited that they are going out.”
When a pastor says a church is both sad and excited, it means two things:
- The church is outward focused, missional, willing to do whatever it takes to share the gospel with the lost, even if it means sending out your best people.
- The church has a solid sense of community and is saddened when that fellowship needs to be broken for a higher purpose.
Michael went on to tell me about a young lady in the church who is already ministering cross-culturally and how he wants to ensure that she is supported and cared for in the best way possible. Michael’s pastoral heart was shining through.
Unfortunately for me, I forgot to ask him about the name “Quarry” so afterwards I checked out the church website and discovered that the name came about during a short-term mission trip. Read the story about how the Lord spoke to Michael about His people crying out His name and if they didn’t “the rocks would cry out” (see Luke 19).
The message was given by Associate Pastor Jeff Morgan who encouraged us to believe rightly because:
beliefs >>>inform decisions>>>which affect behavior
The message hit home with me as I thought about this church sending this missionary family to do church planting in a potentially hostile context. Obviously, the beliefs of Quarry Community Church affect their behavior.
As I left Monticello Middle School, where the church meets, I was hopeful that the God who calls us to belief also calls us to action. I had spent the previous evening with this missionary family and I know that their commitment in initiating a church-planting movement is second only to their commitment to pursuing the Lord.
Even though I had to drive in snowy and wintery conditions (remember, I live in Florida) to get there, I was grateful for my visit to Quarry Community Church. As I walked out the doors, and saw these church members heading in for the second service, I wondered whether they knew that they too might be heading back out that door some day into the adventuresome world of serving Christ among the nations.