In October 2018, Bobby LaDage and I attended Adam and Klaudia’s church plant in Warsaw. Warmth and community described the atmosphere in this sterile office building located in the fastest growing part of the city. Right now it is the only evangelical church in western Warsaw, which has a population around 120,000, but this new church plant already has a budget for a daughter church.
When we met this fantastic couple two years ago, they were beginning to dream of how their fellowship might look. Understanding the gospel and the need to share it with unbelievers in their region burned in their hearts, so we knew they would be great church planters. We invited them to participate in the International Church Planter’s Intensive in NYC in 2016. Afterward, Adam and Klaudia returned to Warsaw, gathered a core team of 12 people, and now the church has grown to almost 60 members since spring 2017. Young professionals, couples and some families, attend the services and take part in reaching this part of the city.
The members of the church are actively involved in mercy and justice ministries in their community. They made good friends with the local Social Care Center located near their church venue, and whenever the Center holds events, they invite the church and treat them as partners. They participated in a Christmas Eve program for families, an event for seniors, and a picnic organized to celebrate Children's Day. The church renovated several flats for the people whom the Center takes care of (with help from American volunteers). Members of the church also regularly visit the people who live in a local House of Seniors and the Disabled. They organized a picnic in the local park, helped with a camp for refugee children, and then organized a "thank you" party for all the volunteers (who were from all kinds of local organizations). This past summer the church sent five volunteers to help at a camp for the blind organized by the local Club of the Blind and Visually Handicapped. They also held several events at the local Center of Culture, and have been invited to be a part of a local Social Dialogue Committee which includes NGOs and similar organizations.
After spending Sunday with them, we remembered the dedication and hard work it takes to be a church planter. From setting up before the service until the last box is packed and stored for the following Sunday, Adam, and Klaudia never stop working. Church planters face many difficulties. One of the hardships Adam and Klaudia face is the threat of being kicked out of the space they rent on Sunday mornings because businesses offer more money to rent the venues, therefore few places are available for rent and at prices that are affordable.
How does a couple with two young children persevere through the uncertainty of finances, find a venue for services, listen to hardships their members face, and make decisions about next steps for the future of the church? They trust in God, remind themselves of the gospel, and why they do it: out of love, joy, and gratitude of what Jesus has done. Adam and Klaudia spend many hours listening to people, asking questions, learning more about planting a church, researching future spaces to meet in, preparing sermons, practicing worship music for Sundays, and praying because they know they are not sufficient for the task. Klaudia is a professional English teacher who supplements the family’s income through the week and is a mother of two children, but still finds time to invest in the church plant.
What a privilege to come alongside Adam and Klaudia to encourage, strengthen and comfort them. They are heroes in my book, just like all church planters and their families who sacrifice to bring the gospel to their city.