On March 1st we announced that we would be planting a church in Benson. Over the last five weeks 150 adults and kids from Citylight have committed to being a part of the Launch/Core Team. God called us to plant a church and He has been faithful to provide the people to make it happen! The Core Team will begin meeting the first Sunday in June throughout the whole summer for Bible teaching, prayer, worship, and planning before the church officially launches on September 13, 2015.

Today, we get the privilege of introducing you to Citylight Benson’s newest pastor: JD Senkbile! JD is going to serve as the co-lead pastor of Citylight Benson upon being licensed through the C&MA denomination. JD grew up on a farm in Central City, Nebraska and went to Trinity International University in Chicago where he met his wife Michelle. Michelle is South African and grew up in Cape Town. JD has been married to Michelle now for 12 years and they have three kids (Cohen 7, Sloane 6, and Mila 4).

JD will be bringing nearly 10 years of pastoral experience to Benson. He moved to Omaha in June of 2005 to help plant a church. He led the church by leading a City Group to/with the homeless and refugee families. In 2008, he moved his family to Cape Town, South Africa to work as the Acts 29 African Church Planting Director. In 2010, he planted VOX City Church in Cape Town. In 2012, he moved his family back to the States. He currently works as the Program Director for inCommon Community Development in South Omaha overseeing all of the activities at the center.

I (Tyler) couldn’t be more excited to be working side by side with a man who used to be one of my pastors for a few years! As I assessed my own strengths/gifts and what I knew I could bring to the table, I felt the Lord prompting me to invite JD Senkbile to co-lead the church plant with me. Having been at Citylight for over a year now, I have seen the wisdom and beauty in having two people (Gavin and Chris) with different personalities and gift mixes work humbly together. JD has a different personality and gift mix as me and therefore will add a ton of value to Citylight Benson. While I’m wired as an introvert that likes dreaming and developing systems for growth and discipleship, JD is an extrovert who is a relator and developer of people. He will be bringing a huge pastoral heart to Benson as well as his love for the city. He has the heart and experience to help our church to reach out to the underprivileged and homeless. He will play a pivotal role in equipping our church to be a neighborhood church that listens to and leaves and impact on Benson from day one.

Pastor Doug, who is currently co-leading a City Group with JD, wanted me to communicate this to you about him: “JD and Michele have been friends and partners in ministry over the last few years, and my wife and I love them! JD brings wisdom, friendship, passion, and patience to his disciple-making ministry. Citylight Benson, you are blessed!” 

In addition, Pastor Chris said, “JD has been an active disciple-maker in our city for years. More than just being a good ministry fit, JD brings a heart for Jesus and a passion for people. I love the guy and it’s going to be fun to see God use him along with the whole team to bring a fresh gospel expression to Benson!” 

JD will continue to work with inCommon until the Core Team begins in June. At that time, he will transition to working part-time with inCommon and part-time with Citylight Benson. I’m so excited to have JD in the mix along with guys like Andrew Rutten, Alex Marquez, and Zach Davy. God is building a great leadership team!

In case you are just now catching up, view the Benson proposal, watch the initial informational meeting, or fill out a commitment form so that you can join the prayer team, core/launch team, or give a financial gift to make this vision happen!

Tyler Zach

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