In May of 2014, my wife and I felt called to leave our home state of Florida and move to Winnemucca, Nevada to help plant D3 Church. Most people know Nevada for its larger towns full of casinos and nightlife, none of which describe where we live. Winnemucca is a small, rural mining town in the desert of Northern Nevada. At three years in, D3 has a little over one hundred people gathering weekly.
The city is unique in that the majority of people work in the gold mining and ranching industries, which offer high-paying jobs with undesirable working conditions. The result is a very transient community, where people are constantly moving in for the jobs, and then out fairly quickly in search of work in a larger city with more amenities. This results in a magnified individualistic identity and what can only be described as a “pioneer spirit” among those who have pride in the fact that they have stayed here.
Winnemucca experiences many of the challenges common to Western culture. It is hard to convince individualistic people driven by consumerism to make any formal (or even informal, for that matter) commitment whatsoever. The majority of workers endure odd rotating day and night schedules, and are required to work at least two weekends a month. As a result, they are highly protective of their free weekends, wanting to use them for personal and family time. This makes it particularly hard to bridge the gap to the unchurched in our area.
We’ve even seen the Lord plant another church out of ours within the first two years
Nevertheless, this is no match for the power of the Spirit. Since D3 was planted, we have seen dozens of disciples baptized, casual believers drawn to renewed commitment and obedience, and leaders raised up to start groups (and one day, churches). We’ve even seen the Lord plant another church out of ours within the first two years. To do this, we’ve had to spend a lot of time in prayer asking the Lord to “take the city” for Himself, and we’ve had to be creative in how to contextualize, in whatever ways we can, to the oddities of the community.
We’ve created groups that meet within the rotating schedules, creating a micro-community of people who all live and work in the same “rhythms.” This has been very beneficial to facilitating natural friendships and discipleship. We’ve also tried to have an avid presence in the community as being FOR them. Many people here don’t believe churches have anything to offer them, and we want to show that part of our mission is to serve and bless the community, for nothing in return. The Lord has given us many opportunities to be part of making the regular events and happenings of the city better, and to create our own in order to show the families in this area that we do have something to offer them.
The Lord has blessed this vision and continues to grow our church and our influence in the city. In January of this year alone, we’ve seen two couples baptized, ten new covenant members added, and one couple feel called by God to plant their own Community Group. This year, we expect to have at least four new groups multiplied with new leaders, two elders-in-training being developed to help shepherd the flock and to see our current weekly gathering of 100 people grow to nearly 200.
Please pray that the Lord would continue to awaken souls in our city
Please help us pray to this end – that the Lord would continue to awaken souls in our city and encourage the saints in our fellowship to give their all for the glory of the Lord and the saving of the lost in our community! We are so grateful to be part of Acts 29, both in receiving crucial funding as a new church plant, and also knowing that the money we’ve allocated for the network since the beginning is being used purposefully and effectively to help plant other new churches and further the mission of the Kingdom of God! Please pray for us to be able to reach our goal of financial self-sufficiency this year so that we can support ourselves as a church and increase our giving toward church planting through Acts 29.