Toby Tiner, Main Street Baptist, Emporia
Editor’s Note: Toby Tiner is planting a church in Emporia, Kansas. We recently asked Toby to answer some questions about that plant. His answers are found below:
What opened your eyes to the firlds where you serve? What drew you there?
I really didn’t understand who I was here to serve until I arrived here. I knew without a doubt God called my family to Emporia. One of the first things I did when I came to Emporia was to find a place that the Associational office, a Hispanic church plant, and our church plant could share. I walked into the building we are now meeting in and saw the room of shelves, I immediately knew we needed to be in this building and needed to have a food distribution ministry, something I never wanted to be involved in before.
I started working at SRS, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and immediately saw those we were to reach. People who, for whatever reason, were in great need. SRS could only do so much, but they could never meet their greatest need. I know we may never be a large affluent church, but I do know we will be a church that will meet people at their need, so that we can share with them the Gospel.
I know we can’t meet all their needs, but I feel we need to do all we can to help as many as we can, and in doing so, I pray they will see the love Christ has for them, and respond to that love with saving faith.
How ripe has your harvest been? What does this ripeness look like?
The harvest is ripe. It has always been ripe.
The need is harvesters. We have found 3 families to help in the harvest.
At all of our gospel distributions the people are receptive to the message of the cross. Through the gospel, people have recognized their need for Christ. So far, the public response has not been evident. But I continue to see the hurt and desperation in them. The need has not changed, the message has not changed, but I know soon, the people will be changed by the power of the cross.
When you look at the fields, what do you see? When you see, what stirs you?
Finances are running low, emotional energy is running low, and what little they have left they pour into their kids, if they even do that.
So many families are broken, and many may not even know it. Parents have lost connection with their kids and don’t know how to win them back. So many are trying anything to fix their lives, but in the end, they are just filling it with activities. Everything they try just makes it worse.
They need Jesus. They need a personal relationship with the creator of the universe. Just like the lady who has come to every food pantry we have had. She just broke it off with her boyfriend, who was not a positive influence on her or her 2 kids. She just found out her company is shutting its doors and she is scared because she does not know how she is going to make it. All of her focus is on the temporal because it is spinning out of control. My hope is that through exposing her to the love of Christ by helping her meet her needs that she comes to understand the greatest need, Christ.
- Please pray that others will come and help with our monthly food distribution.
- We want to start a home school “network” which will support and promote home education. We would like some other families to join and help us get this established.
- We are praying for a large freezer to keep food for our food distribution.
- We are praying for some to provide for a profesionally done church sign.