Ralph: Tell me a little bit about yourself and what drives you toward planting churches?
Myron: Well, I’m an inner-city kid who got in tons of trouble. Ex-gang banger, ex-dope dealer, ex-everything. I ended up with a 16 to 33-year sentence as a teenager and was sent to prison. At the beginning of my sentencing Jesus bumped into me and got ahold of my life. I ended up doing 8 years in prison where I was educated as a pastor and enjoyed a “congregation” deep into commitment to one another. When I got out, I met Ron Dotzler who introduced me to church planting. Just three months out of prison, we planted our first church.
Ralph: Your vision is pretty big, please tell us about it.
Myron: I’ve had this holy discontent in my heart for over 10 years. The inner cities of the world are plagued with violence, disparity, and poverty. I think it pisses God off, and I want to do something about it. A few years ago, God really captured my heart with a vision to “unleash unprecedented hope in every inner-city around the world.” We’ll start with North Omaha, Nebraska and stretch out from there.
Ralph: What have you done so far in your town?
Myron: So, we launched Mission Church a few years ago. We’re an “in the trenches” kind of church so we’re heavily involved in community engagement. We’ve adopted the local school, we’re in and out of the jail & prison system helping men and women re-enter society, and we’re raising up a generation of inner-city entrepreneurs by teaching people to start businesses ranging from window washing to construction to social media marketing companies.
A year after launching Mission Church we launched another church in the inner-city. Six months after that we launched a church in town an hour away to focus on the marginalized! There are a half-dozen microchurches in addition to these. Everyone has a job or is starting a business which is important in a culture dominated by poverty and welfare. As bivocational/freelance planters, our pastors are role models for others. It’s been cool to see the vision get rolling.
Ralph: Tell me about what God is doing outside of Omaha.
Myron: I have a friend who is a member of a level three church. A month ago, I invited my friend to join our church planting movement, planting churches in every inner-city.
Now, this guy is an entrepreneur and is itching to get his hands to the plow. I suggested that he launch a movement that’s almost like a cousin to ours. I presented this question to him, “What if God could use you to multiply churches in every trailer park in America?” It scared him. The conversation ended quickly. We didn’t even talk for a week or two. Then he surprised me by calling back to take me up on the challenge. He felt convinced that God was calling him to launch a microchurch. So, over the phone I commissioned him as a microchurch pastor and gave him permission to pursue “every trailer park in America.” I find that most people can do more than they imagine, but they do need someone to believe in them—to commission them to what God has put in their heart. Sadly, our churches often withhold permission and encouragement—the weird thing about this is that those two commodities are free. They cost nothing but courage on the part of the person granting permission and blessing.
Ralph: Well how’s your friend doing?
Myron: He called me today with tons of questions. One of which was about fear of disrupting his home church. I explained to him that he didn’t need to bother the current church. I encouraged him to stay connected, keep tithing, and continue supporting everything they do. I told him that he could remain faithful to the sending church while planting a movement of microchurches.
He’s currently leading a newly minted microchurch and has a vision to see 200 microchurches in his city. He’s specifically aiming for trailer parks which function as sort of miniature towns or villages. Each is its own sub-culture. He told me that he’s already identified his first apprentice! He’s excited to keep his job, raise up and apprentice, and see a movement blossom.