A Matador for Christ in the Windy City

Rollan and Barbara Fisher

We’ve felt called to the city of Chicago for a very long time — eleven years to be exact. We met while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, we were married and served as the youth, university, and mission pastors at King’s Park International Church in Durham, North Carolina. Throughout those eleven years, the sense of God’s calling continued to increase. We weren’t the only ones anxious to go. People would periodically tell us that when it’s time for an Every Nation church in Chicago, they wanted to do whatever they could to help reach that city together. I guess you could say that the Holy Spirit has been working on our launch team for over a decade.

The first person we met in Chicago who made a commitment to follow Christ was a former Chicago Bulls Matador. The Matadors are known for their dance routines at the half-times of Chicago Bulls games. Die-hard Bulls fans respond wildly to these super-sized comedians with thunderous crowd chants. As you can imagine, our Matador has a very big personality. In more ways than one, he fills up every room he enters. He has also become a bold witness, constantly sharing how Jesus has changed his life. From the very beginning, he determined to be an example for Jesus. “I know God has called me to learn how to be a leader and example for Him,” he says. His devotion even inspires those who’ve been believers for years to go deeper in their own walks with God; his enthusiasm emboldens people to reach out to their co-workers, classmates, and friends.

Bible studies are also going quite well. New people continue to show up and grow into our community. People hang out late into the night at our apartment. One lady who brought her two daughters said as she left, “It’s just so hard to leave!”

Students have returned to campus, and we’ve begun an outreach at DePaul University and the University of Chicago. Recently, we met with a DePaul professor, who also is a department head and who wants to help us get started on campus.

While sharing the Gospel to students, one junior from DePaul said,

This makes more sense to me than anything I’ve ever heard before.”

When asked if there was any reason why he would not want to start following Jesus, he said, “Not at all.” We gave him a One-2-One book, which we’ll go through together.

We also had our first young woman her give life to Jesus on that campus. We were able to meet on a train ride, at which time she told me, “I’ve been thinking about God and the church.” A week later, we arranged a meeting on campus. I was able to explain the gospel, and she responded saying she wanted to serve Jesus as Lord. She replied, “I’ve been a good student, I’ve been a good athlete, but I always felt an emptiness inside. I think that it was Jesus.”

We now have students coming from Northwestern Law School, Harold Washington College, and Moody Bible Institute. We also have our first professor from Triton College. He has joined the plant team with a renewed and refired vision to see the Gospel spread among the students and faculty on that campus.

We have Jewish seekers, agnostics, and atheists continually showing up at our gatherings. Amidst all of this, we now also have a developing worship team in preparation for Sunday services. One of the Jewish women who had been regularly attending one of our Bible studies invited a friend to join her. After the meeting she shared with me,

All my life I have struggled with assurance about my salvation. Tonight, for the first time, I can say that I know I am saved by God’s grace.”

__If all this sounds very exciting to you, maybe you should consider being a part of a church-planting team as your next mission adventure.

Because of the natural dynamics of the city and the location of our apartment building, the 2020 Church-Planting Initiative in Chicago has become an international outreach. We’ve been able to share the Gospel in depth with a Buddhist businesswoman from China, Hindu law students from India, and an agnostic from Jamaica. We’ve seen them all provoked to consider Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Those who’ve been through divorce and are looking to get a fresh start in life are receiving ministry. There is so much opportunity here, and people are wide open to coming to the Lord.

Click on image for more information.

If all this sounds very exciting to you, maybe you should consider being a part of a church-planting team as your next mission adventure. Please pray for us and for those you know in Chicago. Ask God about being a part of a short-term mission or the long-term church-planting team. We hope for this to be a church-planting center that will continually reach our city, as well as the unreached people groups of the world.

For more details on how you can get involved with what is happening in Chicago, go to the website — 2nd City Church.


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