Andy and Sara Wesner recently completed a Discovery Center put on by Excel Leadership Network, the NAB’s partner in church planting with the United States. Coming out of this assessment, they wanted to share the following letter about their experience and what comes next for them.
Hello NAB family,
Sara and I hope this letter is finding you well. We are on an exciting journey, and we wanted to give you an update and share our sincere gratitude for how you are impacting our lives. Two and a half years ago, our family knew God was calling us to pastoral ministry. Besides God’s specific work in our lives, there were two other primary ways we came to this conclusion. The first was the growing opportunities we had in our local church, First Baptist Church in Ellinwood, Kansas. The church has played a crucial role in our spiritual formation, leadership development, and pursuit of God’s kingdom. We love FBC and are so grateful for their ministry in our lives. The second was our regional minister, Dan Heringer. God has graciously used his encouragement, passion, and vision to help catapult us to a place we would have never expected.
So in the summer of 2018, we took a leap. I quit my job as a high school counselor and started the Kairos Project through Sioux Falls Seminary to earn a master of divinity degree. It has been overwhelming how God has orchestrated things and provided in a vast number of ways. Our local church, friends, and others in the NAB have prayerfully, relationally, and financially supported our family. Their love has been a powerful demonstration of Jesus’s radical generosity toward us.
The plan has been to complete my schooling and then find an established church that needed a pastor. As we have increasingly come to see, God was not done shaping our desires and unveiling His plan. After many conversations and a lot of prayer, Sara and I decided to participate in the Discovery Center, which is a two-and-a-half-day church planting discerning process put on by the Excel Leadership Network – the NAB’s partner in church multiplication in the United States. We are so grateful for the church multiplication initiatives in the NAB, and we want you to know that they are well worth it.
Going into the Discovery Center, Sara and I were still unsure of the direction God was moving us, so we came into the process with an open posture, seeking the Lord’s will and His guidance for our next steps. One of the most impactful aspects of the Discovery Center was the relationships built with staff and other church planters. Hearing their stories and seeing God’s faithfulness amid trials was powerful. Perhaps the other most significant part of the week for us was having staff speak into our lives. During our time, it seemed like we were under a microscope, our every move and word being analyzed. And yet, we are so grateful for the staff’s honesty, care, and meaningful feedback of what they saw in Sara and me.
So, where are we? While there are many questions still to be answered, we wholeheartedly believe that God has called us as church planters. To be honest, writing those words is a little weird. It’s like once they are down on paper there is no going back. Yet we know that for us this is what we must pursue. There is no other option. We thought we were already “out of the boat,” acting out of faith, only we now realize that there is so much more to come. Please pray for us as there are now many more steps to take in the coming months. Pray that we would keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we anticipate what He will graciously do through us even as He continues His work in us.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. Thank you for supporting the NAB Conference and, by way of extension, us. We are so grateful for you.
With much love,
The Wesners – Andy, Sara, Emerson, Titus, Finley, and Moses