Congregational Update | From the EldersDecember 17, 2021 Update
Dear church family,
Merry, merry Christmas from Gospel City’s elders!
“We are family!” is more than just this year’s theme — it’s the true reality and celebration of how God has fashioned us together! As you are finalizing your own seasonal festivities, we wanted to share with you our love for you, thanksgiving to God for you, some helpful information, and look forward to 2022 together with you.
Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. – Ephesians 2:19
Though we’re experiencing change (our beloved founding and senior pastor and his bride being called to a new assignment), the Lord in His kindness is actively strengthening this household of God in so many practical and encouraging ways. We’ve seen the Body meeting the Body’s needs, we’ve seen our pastors and staff team serving the church with their love and expertise, and we’ve seen the scriptural distinctives and DNA of Gospel City deepened in men, women, boys, and girls. God is at work! Immanuel, God IS with us!
We believe it’s important that we — as a church family — would not miss this incredibly formational season that we’re experiencing together. The Body that endures transition and change — and does it in a Christ-honoring, humble way — can give the world (and each other!) a right impression of Jesus and His gospel. Thank you for glorifying God and making disciples during this season … and every season!
Just in the last few months, we’ve seen the church strengthened in ways like these:
- Though we’re not yet completely “post-pandemic,” this has been a growing year as we deepen our biblical conviction of the importance of the physical gathering of God’s people.
- During our “re:member” series in the summer, we saw more than 100 people say that they wanted to join the Gospel City family as members.
- We had 41 baptized at our church rally . . . 7 more since!
- 350+ hungry people participated in our brand-new Core Doctrine classes.
- Walking through the Book of Acts throughout this year is intentional for us all to see biblically what the local church is meant to be in the world — and to each other!
- In the Lord’s providence, the timing of Pastor Trent’s departure and the plurality of shepherds and teachers preaching on Sunday mornings and teaching in the evening Core classes has been a beautiful depiction of the local church.
What might God be doing in us as a church?
Well, time will tell, but we believe it seems that He is:
- Deepening your elders in prayerfulness, collaboration, teaching, and shepherding
- Meeting member ministry needs through members sacrificially serving one another
- Cultivating our pastors in preaching, loving, and leading
- Expanding the way we as a church glorify Him, gather together, grow in Christ, and go and tell the Good News
- Maturing our dependency upon Him in prayer, while opening up new opportunities for deepening our relationship to Christ
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. — Psalm 118:23
How will we seek to love the Lord together in 2022?
- Let’s grow through the book of Acts on Sunday mornings. Beginning in January, we will look at the life of the Apostle Paul, his pivotal role in the building and advancement of the Church, and the Gospel moving to the Gentiles.
- Let’s strengthen our commitment to our convictions. We have been — and intend to remain — a certain kind of family. We have specific distinctives that we want to be continually reminding ourselves (and newcomers) of:
- Our Doctrinal convictions
- Our Discipleship Pathway (Glorify, Gather, Grow, Go),
- Our Four Pillars
- Our commitment to live as worshippers of Christ
- Our commitment to planting churches and reaching the unreached
- Our commitment to live sent every single day
These have helped define our mission, vision, and cultural values as a church. We want to continue to build on them and see this Body flourish together.
- Let’s become “heartier” disciples together. Launching the Core Doctrine class was only “Step 1” of a multi-phase, multi-year plan. We are piloting the Core Scripture class in January, and are already hard at work to develop Kids Core for next fall. This opportunity to teach the Bible helps our church hit each aspect of discipleship—Christian education through Core and Studies; fellowship and accountability through small groups; and whole family ministry in the weekly gatherings.
- Let’s take the Gospel to near and far. We are deeply involved in the life of our city, but we live distinctly as God’s people. We live a life of engagement with our neighbors, our communities, and our city, with the distinction of the kingdom of God on display. The Church was never meant to be an island cut off to the rest of the world, nor a “country club” where all of our needs are perfectly fulfilled. The Church is a family with an extreme devotion to the God of glory, and a burning passion for the world outside its walls. What happens in the gathered body of disciples should formationally be seen as the Body scatters to love and serve the world. We are hungry to see Michiana reached for Christ, churches planted locally, and the gospel taken globally.
What about our finances? How’s our staff doing? Anything practical to know?
- Thanks for finishing up your Made for More commitments. If you made a pledge, please know: we’re counting on you to fulfill what you committed to. We know some have come on hard times due to the world-wide pandemic and your commitment is between you and the Lord. But, even though we are debt-free, there’s still work to be done and the completed giving will help us with “family projects” such as additional furniture for lobby and mezzanine, signage, a needed storage building for equipment, parking resurfacing, and landscaping.
- We are finishing the year “good” financially. In previous years, you may remember that there is often a year-end giving project or need. This year, we decided not to do this, but to simply trust the Lord that needs would be met through His people — you’ve been doing just that! THANK YOU! We are so thankful for your faithful contributions to your church. Your regular, generous tithes and offerings continue to fuel the mission of making disciples of Jesus, increasing the reach of the Gospel in our community and around the world.
- We believe we have an incredible gift in our staff team! This team functions like family and they sacrificially truly love you! They love seeing you and your friends and family grow in Christ. If you see a staff member, check on them — even as they may be checking on you. We believe they are doing well, we couldn’t be more grateful for them, and want to ask you to love on them too!
Gospel City Church, your love for Jesus and His mission is so very real and tangible!
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. — Philippians 1: 3-5
You are loved!
—The Elders of Gospel City Church