“To reach our communities with the unchanging truth and love of Jesus Christ, we may be required to remove the cultural wrapping in which we have cloaked the Good News. Frequently it is not the Word of God people are rejecting as irrelevant. It is the outdated clothing in which we have dressed our Lord.”’ -Arnell ArnTessoni
It's hard to believe that we launched Common Ground a year ago. The Lord has done some amazing things since the launch. I would like to take a moment to reflect on what the Lord has done since it has been launched. I will do this by reminding us why we did it in the first place. And here it is:
1. We planted Common Ground to Reach the Unchurched, and we did!
We baptized eight people in July 2017 (half of which came from Common Ground), double the mouth of last year which was 4! We doubled the number of individuals we effectively reached through the new worships service.
2. We planted Common Ground to minister to more people, and we did!
Our average Sunday morning attendance at the end of 2016, measured before we had common ground was 187 on Sunday Morning. Since we added Common Ground the traditional service averages, 158 people on Sunday Mornings and Common Ground averages 45 on Sunday Mornings bringing the combined total to 203 average Sunday morning attendance. It may not feel like it if you are in the traditional worship service every week, but we have experienced an 8.6% growth in overall Sunday Morning attendance! Most churches would love to see that kind of growth over a year’s time in their average Sunday Morning attendance, and don’t forget that is in the face of those who have passed away, moved, or fallen out of fellowship.
3. We planted Common Ground to reach new kinds of people, and we have!
We have not only reached more people but some who would not have joined our church family otherwise! See above for confirmation of this.
4. We planted Common Ground to help break the normal life cycle of the church, and we did!
Based on the growth in Sunday morning attendance we are not headed in the right track to begin a new growth curve! Praise God!
5. We planted Common Ground to allow for change while retaining the familiar, and it has!
Traditional Worship holds a place in many people’s hearts in Grace Baptist and Carter County; It is not going anywhere! So let’s keep singing those hymns and praises to our King!
6. We planted the Common Ground to activate inactive members, and I would say not so much.
While the hope was to see some who have became inactive, active again, we could do better. Give those friends who are sitting around Sunday morning a call and encourage them to join us again!
7. We planted Common Ground to empower more church members to use their Gifts and passions weekly, and it has!
Without a doubt, we did this! The praise band, set up the team, and reset team was not always engaged in weekly service at Grace Baptist. Now they are, we have also created new needs for others to join in!
8. We planted Common Ground to help the Southern Baptist Convention to survive.
9. We planted Common Ground to fulfill our Church’s Mission Statement, “To Know Christ and To Make Him Known,” and we have.
Four new souls for Christ and he used Common Ground to get them there! I would say that is making Christ Know for sure!