Aviator Church Is Becoming A Church Planting Center
By Bev Jackson
Joe and Michelle Boyd arrived in Derby in January 2008 knowing God had called them to start a new church. Immediately he worked to grow his core group, meeting in their home. By September they were able to launch at the Derby High School. Launch numbers showed they were on the right track ~250. Steady growth now has them an average of 502. Aviator has been one of the leaders in baptisms for three years.
God nudged Joe and his staff to launch new works. They had been physically and financially involved with other plants from its beginning. Derby Worship Pastor Golden prayed for God to provide worship leaders he could mentor and train for the new works. God sent Jordon Mark Fritz and Spencer Jones with more in training already for the next work.
September 2011 - Aviator sent staff and workers to help launch their two new church works. Fifty individuals left to work at Aviator North (Wichita) and Aviator Wellington on launch Sunday, September 11.
Aviator Derby’s monthly average attendance after sending out their people to help only dropped 20. God is replenishing the numbers. They had 92 baptisms in 2011. Aviator Derby’s challenge remains developing spiritual leaders who can go forth and develop spiritual leaders.
In 2005, Teaching Pastor Jason Villanueva knew God was changing the direction of his life in Houston, Tx. Jason told God He would use whatever Jason had for God’s purpose. He became active in the youth/church ministry in the Houston area where Joe Boyd was youth pastor.
In 2010 when Aviator, Derby was ready to launch a church plant in NW Wichita to reach English-speaking Hispanics, God laid Jason’s name on Pastor Joe’s heart. Joe and Jason prayed about him becoming the campus pastor for Aviator North. By September 20, 2010 Jason was on the field in Wichita preparing for a God-designed adventure.
Worship service is typically performed with djembe, acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Several families attending are Hispanic and are comfortable in an English service. Beni Santibanez is Jason’s community connection. Beni has ministered in the area and is familiar with special community needs and families in the community. He was instrumental in success with summer Crazy Awesome Fun Camp with tailoring the promotions to communicate well in the area.
Jason spends time developing relationships with the community to gain their trust. He attends family and community functions to show he cares about their lives. Individuals are attending because of receiving a free car wash, bottle of water or Gator Aid, a sno-cone, or their child receiving a free balloon animal. Summer mission teams help promote the church within the community and are effective in the church gaining momentum. Creative activities out in the community have raised awareness of the church. Average attendance is 75 and through December had 4 baptisms.
A group of individuals in Wellington approached Pastor Joe Boyd about having an Aviator in Wellington. Through prayer and planning, Joe and Mark Cress saw that God was calling Mark to Wellington.
Aviator Wellington, meeting in a renovated movie theater, has made its presence known through multiple community outreach events during the summer. Mission teams were utilized there as well at the other Aviator locations to let the community know they were in the community to love them.
Reaching a community, which is not comfortable with church, requires creativity to get the message out. Mark Cress works hard at innovatively reaching the next generation. He has utilized outreaches at city events, superhero costumes to draw attention to the “good” –Jesus Christ, and dynamic worship supported with solid biblical teaching. On launch Sunday Mark had the privilege of leading an older gentleman to the Lord because Wellington was something different than the ordinary. Average attendance is 136 and through December had 30 baptisms.
In keeping with (all) Aviators’ goal, Wellington is working to honor “God and to build healthy relationships at the speed of life.” Mark Cress says, “We want to see the city of Wellington transformed for Jesus Christ, one life at a time.” One URGENT need they have is a bus for a bus ministry. Several people in the area want to come, but do not have transportation.
You can participate with new church works throughout KNCSB. To contact Aviator: Aviatorchurch.com and (for mission team support) – 316MISSIONS.COM.