By Mathew Shockney
Lead Pastor, fxchurch
At fxchurch in Bloomington, Indiana, we truly believe we are better together. For every dollar we receive, 13.5% goes to SBC missions partners. In 2009, Susan and I joined Jason and Joanna Snyder to help continue to plant fxchurch. Jason and Joanna are an example of why we are better together. Joanna grew up in an SCBI church with parents who humbly served and prayed; Jason spent his teen years in an SBC church in Oklahoma. In college, they found SBC partners through the Baptist Student Union at Indiana State (and Rose-Hulman) led by Roger and Rose Bear. While being discipled, Joanna felt a call to overseas missions, Jason, the call to music ministry. Unsure of how this came together, they still believed God was calling them to each other for His glory and service, so they married. After college, they chose another partner, Southern Seminary, both receiving MDivs from the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth. Through college and seminary, they both served in SBC churches. After seminary, Jason worked full-time as a music pastor, while Joanna worked full-time in international education. God was sending the international field to her!
God led them to Bloomington in 2006 with the desire to church plant and reach the campus through SBC partnership. However, Jason did not pass NAMB assessment as lead pastor. Instead of being bitter and leaving to find other partners, they leaned into partnership, with Jason tent making in computer systems while serving as Associate Pastor. This has helped free up fxchurch funds for missions. God was gracious to Joanna again giving her a job at Indiana University working directly with Internationals! She is now the Director, of International Scholar Services at Indiana University.
Fxchurch has been unapologetic about fulfilling the great commission by making disciples and raising up laborers to serve the local church here and abroad. Our co-vocational youth pastor Bryan Hillard, whose dad has been an SCBI pastor for many years, leaned into the SCBI Ecuador partnership with local indigenous churches in sharing the gospel. Joanna and her children went several times. There her daughter Isabel got a taste for missions and later a passion for the Spanish language which she now studies at Indiana University. Isabel chose to go local to stay debt-free and be free to pursue whatever God wanted. She spent last summer on mission in Mexico through the generous support of our church and SBC partners. Little did she know that God was preparing her to become an integral part of eight years of praying for an SBC Spanish Speaking plant in Bloomington. Iglesias Cristiana Baptista was birthed in partnership with Oak Hill Baptist Hispanic Church, fxchurch, WRBA, SCBI, and NAMB.
This story comes full circle this past January as we took 27 young adults from 3 continents to Cross Conference. SBCI partnered to scholarship 17 college students including Isabel. Our International Mission Board is one of the partners at this event. The purpose of Cross Conference is to fulfill the great commission through raising up goers and senders to the last places. While Joanna’s overseas’ calling was left unfulfilled, it was at this conference that their daughter Isabel stood to declare her surrender to prepare herself to be a goer. I wept, and many in our church reaffirmed our commitment to be her senders.
3 John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” We pray at fxchurch that God’s children would see our example of walking with Him, walking in partnership, and walking out the reality of the plentiful harvest but few laborers. Through our partnerships, especially the impact of our SCBI camp at Highland Lakes, the young people at fxchurch have been built up, equipped, and sent. The Snyder’s four children and our three children are now adults and what a glorious answer to prayer to see all seven of our children sharing Jesus, serving in local churches faithfully, with four of them serving the Lord in vocational ministry. We are better together, Indiana Baptists!