We are excited that the Lord has opened doors for us to plant a church in our hometown of Chanute, Kansas. My wife, Stacy, and I were married in Chanute in 2001. After we were married, we moved from Chanute to the Chicago area. We spent nine years serving and growing in a large church there. Five years ago, the Lord took us to Poughkeepsie, NY where I served as a pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church. We believe the Lord has been using this time, and all we have experienced, to prepare us to take the good news of Jesus Christ to lost and hurting people in Chanute.
Over the years, we have had a number of opportunities to connect with people in Chanute through visits, email correspondence, and social media. As a result, God has grown our burden for this community. Many people in Chanute are without Christ and, consequently, without real hope.
This is the primary reason we believe another church is needed in Chanute. Fundamentally, church planting is a way to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ. Missionary and theologian, C. Peter Wagner, has said that “church planting is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” We see this borne out in the New Testament. The exponential growth of the New Testament church was the direct result of church planting. We likewise see it in our day. While we praise God for established churches that often do a great job of caring for people in their congregations, established churches are generally not as effective as new church plants in reaching lost people. Eighty percent of new people who become members in established churches are Christians in transition from other churches. However, in newly established churches, sixty percent of new people who come in are new to the Christian faith. Church planting is an effective and biblical way God uses to reach new people with the gospel.
I also believe there is a need for a new church in Chanute because there are not enough churches in Chanute where the gospel is being maintained. We are thankful that there are good churches in Chanute where the gospel is being preached and lived out, but there are a number of churches where the gospel has been compromised or altogether abandoned.
We have chosen the name Grace Community Church because we want to see God’s grace experienced, shared, and lived out in and through the community of our church body. We envision a church where we conscientiously seek to be faithful to God’s word as we study it, share it, and apply it to our lives. We envision a gospel-centered church, a church where our indescribable joy over what Christ has done leads to lives lived in worship and faithfulness. We envision a place where there is true biblical community—a place where we can be authentic, honest, and real. Our desire is to see a strong church—a healthy church. You can read more about our values, mission, and vision here.
For these reasons, we believe God is leading us to plant a church in Chanute. My family and I are currently living in Chanute. We are meeting with our core group on Thursday evenings for Bible study and prayer. If you live in the Chanute area and would like to know more about us, you can contact us here.
Please join us in praying about this. Pray that God would prepare the hearts of those to whom we will go. Pray that God would prepare us for the challenges that Satan will no doubt bring our way. And pray that God would be at work in our lives, sustaining and growing our joy in Him.
Pastor Steve Galt
Lead Church Planter
Grace Community Church