July 13, 2015
After a powerful time of training at Eagle Heights Church in Oklahoma, Carter Cox was preparing to leave when Keith, one of the elders, stopped him.
“This will never work,” he said.
Carter was caught off guard. He had just spent the afternoon training church members how to share their faith and train up new believers.
“Why?” he asked.
“Well, there are several guys on the Oklahoma city police force I have been trying to reach for years, and they just won’t come to church…they are cold.”
Carter followed up, “Have you shared your story and the Gospel with them?”
“Well, why don’t we pray that God will set up an opportunity for you to do just that.”
One week later, Keith called Carter in tears. Not only did two of his co-workers receive Christ, but the men then learned how to share the Gospel, bringing their entire families to faith as well. In the months that followed, another 70 people would come to faith in Jesus, some of them during traffic stops!
TIME: A PRECIOUS COMMODITY
For Carter, the doubt is nothing new but he has also seen powerful stories like Keith’s firsthand. As a church planter with e3 Partners, his job is simple: tell people about Jesus, help them start new churches, and train others to do the same.
After graduating college, Carter moved to Oklahoma City in January 2014 but he knew he wouldn’t be there long. Engaged to be married and finishing up his master’s degree, a new chapter in his life was awaiting him. But he also knew that God had placed him in Oklahoma for a reason and he wanted to make the most of it.
“My time was precious,” Carter remembers. “I attempted to stick to high value activities.”
In the next 18 months, God would use him to establish six different house churches, train over 400 believers, and lead countless others to Christ. Carter watched as one church in particular embraced the vision with open arms. In one year, they planted four new churches, two of which reproduced into two more. Meanwhile, they raised $116,000 for local and global missions projects.
IN THE SHADOWS
Carter serves as one of many church planters on the e3 USA team who are spread all across the country. While many consider the United States a largely Christian nation, over 10 million people residing within our borders are considered unreached or unengaged. Even in large Bible Belt cities like Dallas, Birmingham, and San Antonio, entire cultures who remain untouched by the Gospel sit under the noses of well-established churches.
Some come with worker visas, others arrive as refugees. As a result, the nations are descending upon the United States at an unprecedented rate. But for these people, the outreach methods employed by many evangelistic churches often prove ineffective. Over 60% are unlikely to respond to invitations to a service or venture far outside their communities.
There is only one way to reach them: meet them where they are.
e3 USA helps churches actively engage these groups and other unreached pockets within U.S. communities through training and hands-on experience. They help Christians build connections, share the Gospel, and train new believers to do the same. This results in new churches springing up in homes and businesses across the city, supported by other nearby congregations. It’s the New Testament in motion.
Many of the exciting church planting initiatives happening around the world are also taking place here at home. You can be a part of it too. Click here to learn more about e3 USA and even sign up for an upcoming expedition!
Today, Carter Cox is married to his wife, Hannah. They recently moved to Stuart, Florida where they continue in ministry together. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.