LICKING – As the Lord spoke to him and the weight of conviction mounted on his heart, John Jordan white-knuckled the pew in front of him and fervently prayed. On that day—August 29, 1999, Jordan prayed for deliverance and he submitted his life to Christ… but he didn’t stop there.
“I remember it so clearly,” he said. “I walked up the aisle and I was with the pastor and he said, ‘Do you want to pray?’ And I said yes. I knew what was missing because I had grown up in and out of church. I prayed that God would give me what I lacked: a love for people and a passion for His Word. And he did. At the time I never envisioned that would lead me here; serving as pastor of an amazing church.”
Jordan served as a deacon for several years before he surrendered to God’s call to preaching ministry in 2011. He was unanimously voted in as pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church in 2012 and he, along with his wife, Gina, has faithfully served there ever since.
“God opened doors and by calling us there we received confirmation of what God had in store for us,” Jordan said.
Located six miles outside of Licking, Rock Springs is a rural church with a healthy mid-week student discipleship ministry that brings in around 200 people on a given Wednesday. Jordan said they feed and disciple around 130 children ages pre-K to high school, and then another 60 or so adults come to serve and attend Bible study classes.
“The student ministry is definitely a catalyst God has used, but I think the reason people come out six miles is because they are wanting something real and honest,” said Gina, who also serves as a member of the Executive Board for the Missouri Baptist Convention. “The Lord has brought a lot of kids and families who need love and attention and from the beginning our ministry has always been about being a relational church. The Lord is bringing them, we just need to be good stewards of who he is bringing.”
As more and more people are being added to the family, the Jordans believe they are merely witnessing the result of many years of prayer.
“The Lord gets all the glory because we know that what we’re experiencing is built on lots of prayers from faithful Rock Springs Church members and pastors in years past,” Jordan said. “It’s exciting and we consider it a privilege and a huge blessing to be faithful to reap what others have sown.”
The Jordans agreed that as far as faithfully serving and putting in the necessary hard work of ministry goes, their church family never ceases to amaze them.
“It’s refreshing to be around a church family who knows how to work and who doesn’t hesitate to serve,” Gina said.
“In Nehemiah it talks about a people with the mind to work,” Jordan said. “That describes the people at Rock Springs. If they didn’t have the mind to work and the heart to serve like they do, we couldn’t do our student ministry or half the things we get done every week.”
As a bi-vocational pastor, Jordan said time sometimes gets pretty tight. But by staying relationally minded and making decisions based solely on their church mission and vision, everything Rock Springs does stays streamlined.
“When we’re doing the Lord’s business all we have to do is ask ourselves whether or not something fits in with the mission,” Jordan said. “We want to change our world by developing Christ followers who love God and people. If something doesn’t fit within that, we don’t do it.”
One thing Rock Springs wants to continue to do is become more and more of a kind of springboard church where members grow in their walk and obey God’s call on them to be pastors, missionaries and lay leaders.
“The Acts 1:8 model of developing and sending out leaders is what keeps a church vibrant and it’s what fulfills the Great Commission,” Jordan said. “As we’ve seen growth and expansion, we’ve also seen God calling people from our church to do more work for him elsewhere. No matter what we do, we definitely want to keep striving to raise up leaders to be sent out.”