Pictures of Grace: Noah Boyer

Noah is ready to make his faith in Jesus Christ public through baptism! Watch his testimony video and join us as we celebrate the life-transforming power of the gospel.

Pictures of Grace | Noah Boyer from Gospel Community

If you, or one of your children, are ready to take the important step of baptism, reach out to us at info@gospelcc.org. It would be our honor to celebrate with you!

Life Transformation in Central Asia

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Each year for the past three years, Gospel Community Church has sent a team trip to a predominantly Muslim country in Central Asia on a short-term mission trip. During the trip, our team and local missionaries take Central Asian youth on a rafting wilderness adventure.  During our first trip, a young woman (we’ll call her Laura) heard the gospel and chose to surrender her life and trust Christ as her savior. Shortly thereafter, her then fiancé (now husband) also came to know Christ as his Savior. During the second trip, Laura’s brother (we’ll call him Joey) was among the youth on the trip. Joey was also presented with the gospel, but did not decide to trust Christ as his savior.

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This year on our most recent trip, eleven members of Gospel Community Church traveled again to Central Asia. When the raft was built and the supplies were gathered for the days our team would spend with the youth on the river, Joey was again among the teens set to embark.  Throughout the days and nights of the trip, multiple leaders led Bible studies with the kids. Still, Joey wasn’t ready.  GCC’s Jason Glen describes Joey’s passage through the trip as an “undercover experience”. From what the leaders could tell, there were not a lot of, if any, one-on-one conversations with Joey on the trip, but the leaders were praying.

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On the last night of their wilderness adventure, the plan for salvation was again presented around the campfire. Those who accepted Christ were asked to take sticks representing their life, and place them in the fire. Joey was emotional, but still he did not come forward. Finally, when the trip was over, and the goodbyes were being said, Joey ran up to our team and conveyed that he had made his decision. He prayed right there, and accepted Christ as his Savior! The tears flowed as Laura was finally able to embrace her brother as a new brother in Christ.

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Through these three short-term mission trips, these three members of a Muslim family in a Muslim nation have come into contact with and accepted the truth, life, and transforming power of the gospel. They now face trials and testing of their faiths as their father asks them to renounce their decision to follow Christ. Please be in prayer for strength, protection, deeper knowledge and growth for Laura, her husband, and Joey as they face tests most of us may never encounter. Please pray that the hearts of their parents will be softened and surrendered to Jesus as well. Their story is not over, and the gospel is not finished reaching into dark and hard places.

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Hold fast to what is good.

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” – Romans 12:14

The weight of sin and the brokenness of this world have been on saddening display in our country these past few days. On Saturday, August 12th the sickness of our world came to bear in the form of white supremacist groups descending in protest in our neighboring city of Charlottesville, VA. Unfortunately, racism is not dead in 2017 in the United States of America.

Many in our country are grieving, fearful, and lamenting this outpouring of organized, public hatred of themselves, their families, friends, and neighbors. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ from minority families are mourning. They are mourning because of the great load of hatred and violence, both subtle and direct, that has been aimed their way for hundreds of years in this country. And those of us who follow Jesus as majority-culture families, white brothers and sisters, we should mourn with them.

Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.” The inherent dignity of every human life is under attack. That which Creator God has called, “Very good” is being spat upon and defiled by broken, confused, and bewitched men and women who have no sense of gospel-grace in our nation. And we, all those who follow Jesus, should lament with our minority brothers and sisters who have endured the weight of being considered “less than” for centuries in our own country.

If love is genuine among followers of Christ, then we should listen to those who grieve, and understand their outcry so that we can grieve with them. Where there is no grief, none at all for those who are marginalized, we should ask, then: is there love?

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” -Isaiah 5:20

As a church family, Gospel Community Church, soon to be Gospel Community Church Rivermont, we have to name that which is evil, and denounce it as such. And white supremacy and every form of racism is an affront to God’s good design and a violence to the Image of God in every human being, regardless of ethnicity, gender, skin color, and so on. Therefore, white supremacy is evil, and the wrath and judgment of Almighty God are aimed at those who espouse such beliefs without repentance.

GCC family, we must do at least these 3 three things:

  1. We must not hesitate to name this evil.
  2. We must learn to understand those around us who grieve these sort of personal attacks on their own identity. We must be in relationships with a diverse cross-section of people in our churches and in our neighborhoods. Minority/Majority cultures eating together, worshipping together, and listening to one another is the context for genuine gospel-transformation and healing in this space of racial brokenness.
  3. We must not think that any person or group of people alone can push back this darkness. We must believe that we are dealing with evil that is impossible for us to banish on our own, but that Jesus has already done the impossible for us. King Jesus has already conquered evil, death, and sin through his death and resurrection! So, Church, we must pray. We must pray together and alone. With our friends and families. We must pray often.

By the grace of God, we have come a long way since slave ships, plantations run by slaves, and segregation. Praise Christ! But we must realize, there is still a journey toward justice and reconciliation, especially among those in the Body of Christ. We cannot let racism, in any form, fester in the hearts of those who claim to follow Christ.

By the grace of God, let us move forward and do all that we can to, “stand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).

True Freedom

Happy Fourth of July!

The independence of the United States of America is a worthy cause to celebrate. There is much to be grateful for. The Founding Fathers of this nation established a Constitution which protects the “natural rights” of the citizens who live here (inalienable rights – “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”).

On this Fourth of July:

1) I’m thankful that we live in a nation that protects the “rights” that are given to us by God.

2) I’m thankful that we are positioned to live, and enjoy, life for the glory of God and the good of others.

3) I’m thankful that we celebrate freedom, share it with each other, and model it for other nations around the world.

There is no perfect display of democracy on this side of eternity, but as Matt Chandler points out – “Where the ideal is lacking, grace abounds.”

Pray for our nation and our leaders. Scripture reminds us that “there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God (Rom. 13:1).” Regardless of our political ideologies, let’s press into our primary (Kingdom) citizenship and trust the Sovereignty of God.

The independence of our nation is a shadow of the freedom that we have in Christ. Enjoy your freedom, honor God with your freedom, and steward your freedom wisely.

-Pastor Andrew

Pictures of Grace: Baptism Testimonies

This week we had the pleasure of celebrating baptisms during both of our Sunday morning services, and we praise God for the life transformation represented in the pictures of grace testimonies shared below!

If you, or someone you know, would like to be baptized, or has a story of life transformation they want to celebrate with their GCC family, please share it with us by emailing info@gospelcc.org.

Pictures of Grace | Alli Washburn from Gospel Community on Vimeo.

Pictures of Grace | Kaleb Van De Perre from Gospel Community on Vimeo.

Pictures of Grace | Josh Creasy from Gospel Community on Vimeo.