We Are A Good News CityMarch 13, 2020 | Pastoral Letter
Dear Gospel City,
You are loved. From the pastors here at Gospel City Church, we want to remind you that we love you. And we want to remind you that the God who sits enthroned in the heavens loves you as well. Even when it seems the earth is giving way, the God of the universe is still our refuge, our strength, and a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1-2). He is good to all, His mercy is over all that He has made, and His steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 145:8-9).
So amidst all the changes in our world that have been thrust upon us in a matter of a few days, we wanted to start this letter with a reminder of something that will never change. For Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, His steadfast love for you is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.
With all of that said, the Coronavirus outbreak provides us with some new opportunities to think about how we can love the Lord our God, and how we can love our neighbors as ourselves. This short letter is meant to shepherd you towards that end. Based on who we are as Gospel City Church, we want you to focus on these three things:
1) Be a City within a City.
Brothers and sisters, apart from the good news of the Gospel, the world has no hope. As followers of Jesus we have been born again to a Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3)! While we are prone to think about ourselves, because of Jesus we can love each other because we have been born of God, who is Love (1 John 4:7-8)! While worldly treasures will waste away, our treasure is being guarded in heaven by the power of God (1 Peter 1:4-5). Therefore, in this trying time, remind each other of the hope that we have in Jesus, love one another, and help each other trust in God and not this world.
2) Be a City sent to a City.
We live in a city full of people who trust in their bank accounts, their health, their doctors, and their own safety. This makes us different! While the world trusts in the temporal, we are anchored to the Rock, who is Christ. Therefore, use this as an opportunity to point people to the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, and the Great Physician. TV and social media are flooding our world with the news surrounding COVID-19, but we have the Good News—the Best News! We are not carriers of a virus, we are carriers of the Words of Life. Therefore, be a city on a hill and shine the Light of Jesus into the darkness (Matt 5:16).
3) Be a City longing for a better City, a heavenly one.
While you use this time to love each other and love your neighbors, we also want you to be mindful of how God might use this in your own heart. Is there anything in your life that has been recently threatened or taken away? If so, how has your heart responded? We hope that this outbreak has confirmed in your heart that you are longing for your home in heaven where you will see Jesus face to face. The call of Jesus is to forget what lies behind and look forward to what lies ahead (Phil 3:13). Today is the day of salvation for all who believe. Seek Him while He may be found (Is 55:6), pick up your cross and follow Jesus (Matt 16:24). These are great days to tell of His steadfast love, and to be the salt and light that He’s asked us to be.
You Are Loved,
Wes Ward, Pastor of Ministry Development
Micah Klutinoty, Pastor of Worship
Nathan Scroggins, Pastor of Congregational Care and Counseling
Tyler Downing, Pastor of Next Steps, Small Groups, Students
Tyler Holder, Pastor of Men and College
Ben Hurt, Campus Pastor, Elkhart
Stephen Love, Pastor, Redemption City Church Plant
P.S. Do you think our Senior Pastor Trent Griffith—who is on sabbatical—is missing being here? You better believe it! Want some hope from him? God’s Word is both timely and timeless! Watch and SHARE this GOOD NEWS from Pastor Trent (Who will be back with us, Lord willing, on Good Friday!): “What to Do When the Sky Is Falling”!
P.P.S. As your pastors we would be remiss if we ended with our words and not the Lords. Therefore, join us in declaring with the Psalmist, “whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near to God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works” (Psalm 73:25-28). Make it so in your heart, your family, this body, and this city. You are loved.