Church Planter Feature: Ryan and Shayna Nissley

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Our featured church planters for this month are Ryan and Shayna Nissley, lead pastors at Grace Church in Flat Rock, MI. Check out the story below as Ryan shares how one family in their community was impacted by the ministry of Grace Church.


Before the launch of Grace Church on Nov. 5, 2017, we prayed that God would build our church, drawing those that were called to be with us. When we announced on Facebook that we were launching, a young woman in her early 30’s named Kara left a comment. She said she started crying as soon as she read it and that she KNEW she was supposed to be with us at Grace.

Nine years ago, Kara was the student teacher in our son’s first grade class. She was drawn to my wife, Shayna, and, knowing we were pastors, she started asking questions about church. She attended a Lutheran Church a few times when she was a child, but hadn’t gone since. School ended and we didn’t see her again for some time.

Our families reconnected seven years later when her aunt died and the family asked me to preach her funeral. Again, we felt a God connection, but she had never come to our church at the time. With the announcement of Grace Church starting she was so excited and she committed to bringing her two little ones to church, but she felt her husband would never come because there was so much negativity from his childhood connected to church. Shayna prayed with her and Kara's husband ended up coming to their first service in November – and they’ve been consistent ever since!

The couple went through our Next Steps program, and Kara is now involved with "Grace Littles" and will be trained to lead it eventually. God is working in her marriage and children! She’s a baby when it comes to the Word and things of God, but she is so hungry for more. She loves coming down to the front and praying after the sermon and said we should do that every service.

The first few services, Kara would tell Shayna that she had started crying as soon as worship started and that she had to excuse herself. She was apologizing because she didn’t know what was happening. We explained to her that it was the presence of the Holy Spirit and that it was a good thing – so don’t try to stop it!

A few months ago, she received scary news from the doctor regarding her three-year-old son’s health. Shayna laid hands on him and last week, after all day being at the doctor and many tests, the doctors ended up confused because they couldn't find anything wrong with him! We praise God for all He has done through this one family! There are so many other God stories in these last seven months, and we are just honored to have a front row seat to watch Him do what only He can do!