July 2, 2024

Greetings Gospel City –

We are regularly thinking about you and thanking the Lord for your service to His Church, your perseverance in the faith through many circumstances, and your resolve to seek the glory of Christ above all else. We can’t thank you enough for letting us into your world when you write down prayer requests and praises for what the Lord has done in your lives! This makes a big church feel a little bit smaller, and it allows our prayers for you to be even more specific.

It has been a wonderful season studying the Gospel of John, and being constantly reminded to “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Hopefully, you are regularly pausing and responding to the glory revealed in the person of Jesus Christ!

As we are full-fledged into summer and July is upon us, we simply want to update you on some of the things we’re praising God for, some of the days ahead that you can anticipate, and give you a better idea of how you can pray for the leadership here at Gospel City.  

01 — Preach the Word.

“Preaching the Word is the primary task of the Church…and we must not allow anything to deflect us from this, however good the cause, however great the need.” —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

As elders, we are reading “Preaching and Preachers” by Martin-Lloyd Jones. It continues to reaffirm our conviction for bold, exegetical preaching. The Word of God does the work of God, and we are always aiming to prioritize the preaching of the Word of God that is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

For the next six weeks, we’re heading back into the book of beginnings! Last fall, we studied the origin of all things in Genesis 1-11, and now we’re venturing into the origin of our faith that God brought forth through a faithful man named Abraham. Pastor Mitch Helmkamp, along with lay elders Jon Seger and Mark Surber, will be preaching the Word through this six week series! Don’t miss a Sunday!

Pastor Micah will be taking some time out of the pulpit for the month of July and into August. He will be working on some of the vision pieces for our new ministry year, seeking the Lord for His own spiritual vitality and leadership, and spending some time visiting family and loving His own.

02 —Gospel City Staff

We have welcomed several new staff members over the past year!

Jonah Twiddy – Director of College and Young Adults
Jonah is our newest staff member, jumping in to provide leadership to our college and young adults! He is beginning our Young Adults summer series on July 9 at Gospel City, and they will be studying 4 representations of the Church from scripture. Be sure to welcome Jonah, Leah, and Dakota when you see them in the lobby!

Ally Ludwig – Design Manager
Ally serves the church by helping us visually communicate the message of Jesus Christ through design and media. As both a designer and project manager, she helps us get various initiatives across the finish line with excellence.

Wilson Green – Pastor of Congregational Care
Pastor Wilson is a “first responder” by nature, living on the front lines of ministry—from the living room to the hospital room. He is helping the staff and elders to better know the church body because of all of the time he spends among them. In fact—if you need care, send him an email or say “hi” on a Sunday!

Stephen Coston – Worship Leader
Stephen is a blessing to us all with his infectious enthusiasm and heart to lead us in authentic worship. Alongside Pastor Brent Thomas, he helps lead volunteer worship teams on Sundays, in various midweek gatherings, and more.

Nasa Sete – Pastoral Resident
Nasa formally began his pastoral residency with us in November, and is working tirelessly to plant a gospel-centered church in Hawaii in the very near future. Not only is he focused on his theological development as a pastor, but he is involved in every facet of church ministry so that he can have a fully-formed perspective as a church planter.

Not only is the Lord adding to our number of worshipers on Sunday gatherings, but He is supplying all our needs within our staff. We believe that He will continue to be faithful!

Be sure to say hello and get to know these folks as you see them in the lobby or at any church gathering!

03 — Discipleship

We are praising God for where He has brought us over the last few years in an effort to be an Equipping Church. If you’ll remember, as elders we had a burden to continue to provide opportunity for disciples to grow in their biblical literacy. Not only have we been able to provide opportunity over the past few years, but we’ve gained clarity around our different spaces.

Groups, Classes, and Studies are sort of the life-blood of equipping disciples within our body of believers! Are you in one?! (Learn more)

This summer, we are celebrating that we’ve completed our third rounds of Core Doctrine and Core Scripture, and have taken over 600 of you through these foundational classes. Also, at the beginning of 2023 we launched Academy, which is a deeper dive into Biblical Theology. Pastor Mitch led 20 people through 22 weeks of reading, writing, and discussion that leads to a deeper understanding of the whole story of Scripture. The feedback has been of great encouragement!

Another thing we’re celebrating is the unity across our body that we’ve seen in uniting our Bible Study efforts. Every Wednesday throughout the school year, our building was being used by men, women, and students to study the book of Exodus! We had over 100 men at 6am every Wednesday morning, we had 150 women Wednesday mornings and evenings, and our students followed right along. Also, young adults were studying Exodus on Monday’s and Tuesday’s, as well as various men’s small groups throughout the city.

Disciples of Jesus GROW, and the nourishment for the growth comes through the Word, the fellowship in the Spirit, and the prayers of the saints. We are thankful for your continued perseverance to submit yourself to the whole counsel of God’s Word, and would plead with you to continue to fight the good fight of faith with us!

If you are not currently in a Group, Class, or Study – Please make plans to join us in the fall as classes and studies kick off again—OR pursue getting involved in a small group today!

04 — What Are the Elders Working on?

001—BUILDING STEWARDSHIP // You can pray for us as we explore the best way to steward the facility the Lord has given us. We have engaged with some teams to help us re-imagine some of our current spaces for the sake of accommodating all the children the Lord has blessed us with, to create more classroom space for adult discipleship (ie. studies and classes), and to address the traffic flow of people in the hallways on Sundays! Pray for us as we collect information, steward our finances and spending principles, and aim to communicate as we have information. We are grateful for these space challenges because the Lord is blessing us with more families who are hearing the good news of Jesus Christ! We want to live by the principle that the “one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much (Lk 16:10).”

002—MISSIONS // If you’ll remember, at the vision gathering in August of 2023 pastor Micah shared how we are aiming to be a Worshiping Church, a Family Church, an Equipping Church, and a Missional Church. In fact, you should listen to season 2 of the For the City podcast and hear more of the vision behind each of these! We have work to do on becoming the missional church that we believe we can be! Our missions committee has been meeting and we are gaining excitement about ways to be fulfilling the Great Commission as a church. You will hear more in the days ahead, but please be praying for Pastor Micah as he seeks the Lord for the ministry year ahead, and for our teams that are stewarding partnerships and finances that will go to make disciples of all nations!

003—CONGREGATIONAL CARE // You may have heard us say the statement before that our church government is Elder led, Deacon served, and Congregationally affirmed. That being said, we are a large church and a large burden on our hearts as elders is to know and shepherd the flock of God that is among us. We’ve been so thankful to pray through every name in our member roll over the last year. In every meeting, we take a section of the alphabet and pray for you! This is helping us know the flock. That being said, we recognize that there are many needs and burdens. We’re exploring new ways that could help us better meet the needs of our congregation. We also want you to know that we take seriously the “congregationally affirmed” piece of the statement! We welcome your feedback, and your friendship. Here’s how—please come and see us after a worship gathering on Sundays when we’re at the front of the worship center! Even if it is just to say hello and introduce yourself, we would be so happy to greet you and pray with you about anything.

05 — Final Thoughts

We are praying that you experience the fullness of joy that comes with the presence of Christ over the remainder of summer! This is often a time to enjoy family, friends, the outdoors, lake Michigan, vacation, etc.—or perhaps your circumstances aren’t as ideal as you’d like them to be this summer. Our prayers are from Colossians 1:11-12, that you would be “being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”

Let us encourage you—as nice as summer is, don’t let it keep you from the weekly gathering of the Lord’s people, on the Lord’s Day! Come and worship, come and see, and let’s continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen (2 Peter 3:18).”

You Are Loved!
—The Elders of Gospel City Church