We were thrilled to have Ryan Worley come back to Columbia and Karis Church for a visit in June. He shares here about their new church plant, Rooted Church:
Rooted Church is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Fayetteville is nestled in the Ozark Mountains and is home to about 80,000 people. Fayetteville is also home to the University of Arkansas which boasts an annual enrollment of 26,000 students. The City of Fayetteville is situated within the region of Northwest Arkansas which is home to some of the world’s largest corporations like Walmart, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt.
Even though Fayetteville is in a part of the county that many people think of as highly religious, there is actually a growing disconnect between the church and the community that surrounds it. In fact, just 18% of the population attend a church service consistently, and only 36% of the population identify themselves as evangelical Christians.
When Melissa and I moved to Fayetteville, our heart was to plant a church that would take the gospel to heart of the city, to reach the lost and connect people with gospel community. Our hope is that the gospel would grow to not only change lives but change our ever growing community.
Over the last year God has blessed with a great team to partner with us in planting Rooted Church. We have been gathering for worship on Sunday mornings in our home for the past 9 months. During that time, we have been intentional about reaching out to our neighbors and social networks and finding ways to bless our city.
By God’s grace, our team has continued to grow over the past two months and we searched for potential meeting places. God connected us with an older church that was generous enough to offer up their space for us to use on Sunday evenings. We were able to gather there for worship last Sunday, and we are so excited to see how God grows us there in the future.
Also, we have recently been able to develop some great ministry partnerships with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on campus and identify ways we can serve and connect with college students. We have also begun serving monthly at a local community center where we help serve meals and distribute food to about 200 low income families.
Rooted Church is at the beginning of a long journey and we are so excited to see where God takes us in the coming months. Church planting is full of ups and downs, but we are continually reminded of the great need for the gospel that exists in our city. We are also daily reminded of the sufficiency of Christ and that he is faithful to accomplish his purposes in and through us.
As you think about Rooted Church in the coming months, we encourage you to pray that God would add to our numbers with people who would hear the gospel for the first time and place their trust in Jesus. We also pray that God would bring believers to our body who could partner with us in planting the church. Pray that God would bring a season of revival to the city of Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. Lastly, pray for our team, that we would be bold, courageous, and persevering through the ups and downs of church planting.
Our dear friends in Karis Church, know that we are so thankful for you and your partnership in the gospel. Your prayer and support encourages our hearts and reminds us that we are not in this alone. We will pray for you as well that God would continue to reach Columbia through the ministry of Karis.
If you missed Ryan's sermon during their visit in Karis, you can listen to it here.